51° 21’ 45″ N, 1° 01’ 13″ E Whitstable Sounding: Rockets and Blue lights (close at hand) to warn steam boats of shoal water

by Richard Wilson and Zatorski + Zatorski

Whitstable Sounding is a site-specific, symphonic, maritime performance with ships, ships whistles, horn, sirens, search lights and flares for Whitstable. Based on the paintings of Turner, this enigmatic mid-summer’s steam ship performance formed part of the Whitstable Biennale 2014.

1513: A Ships’ Opera

by Richard Wilson and Zatorski + Zatorski

Covering 40 sea miles, 1513: A Ships’ Opera is an astonishing water-borne performance for the river Thames. An armada of extraordinary historic vessels from the age of sail, steam and diesel perform in a live, moving, operatic concerto of ships’ steam whistles, bells, horns, hooters, sirens and cannon as the the centrepiece of the 2013 Thames Festival.


The Deluxe River Cruise

by Doug Fishbone

River cruises with a difference. Join stand-up conceptual artist Doug Fishbone for a unique guided cruise along the Thames – a journey through both the heart of the city and his own mildly warped imagination. Fishbone’s super Deluxe River Cruise includes live commentary and a fabulous slide show accompaniment designed to enrich your experience of the psychogeography of London as never before…

Portrait of a River

by Nikolaj Bendix Skyum Larsen

Multiple self-contained vignettes weave together fragments and traces of the people and places that define the character of the Thames. Internationally renowned video artist Larsen’s latest work provides viewers the opportunity to engage with the people that use and inhabit the river: from the watermen and lightermen families who know it intimately and who have plied their trade along it for generations, to the Master and commander of Trinity House.


by Hew Locke

A large-scale sculptural installation for All Hallows by the Tower – the mariners’ church. Hew Locke’s whimsical boat festooned with garlands of flowers and foliage explores the spiritual and metaphysical symbolism of the ship and sea travel: an evocation of the final funerary journey.

The Thames (from London Bridge, Arizona to Sheerness, Canada)

by Layla Curtis

Focusing on the etymology of place names along the river’s shores and their global namesakes, artist Layla Curtis has examined sea charts and maps past and present to create an original artwork; an alternative map of the Thames. Taking the stretch of river between Sea Reach and the Pool of London, the final piece was available to download for free, in 10 parts over the Thames Festival 2013.

The Last of the Watermen

by David Kew

The Last of the Watermen is a fascinating exploration of the river Thames seen through the eyes of one of its longest serving watermen, Peter Duggan. This beautiful film stands as witness to the harsh, yet mysterious and ultimately beguiling life of watermen and lightermen on the River Thames and their all but forgotten world.