Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Sold Down The River

Ignoring the cash strapped times we currently living in and by mimicking the laissez-faire attitude of British Waterways. The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea are putting on a very memorable "performance arts" event based around an underground river. All done at a value for money snip over £70,000. (Ignoring the £279,000 cut in Sports for Schools, the cut of £950,000 in home care services and the £100,000 cut in play services.)

Described by Ashcroft as "A sculptural procession in collaboration with Fritha Jenkins, developed as an extension of the walks I have been carrying out on my Peripatetic Residency as part of Squid & Tabernacle's curatorial project Geography of the Artist's Studio."

So what do the strapped for cash rate payers of Kensington and Chelsea get for this "value for money" event.

It will start with "Artists Louise Ashcroft and Fritha Jenkins will re-activate the lost River Westbourne by staging a sculptural procession between Paddington Basin and the River Thames. Samples of water found at sites en route will be added to a large, boat-like vessel and carried along the river's former course. Swishing and splashing through Kensington and Chelsea, the collected waters will mix together, echoing the mysterious Westbourne which now runs deep below the streets in an underground pipe. Canal water, holy water, lake water, fountain water, designer bottled water; each source will be reflected upon by an artist, musician or academic whose practice relates to its site. Revellers are invited to join the procession and help with the filling and carrying of the vessel. 
The journey will culminate in Chelsea, where the contents will be poured over the beach into the Thames."

I anticipate that the police will have problems of controlling the crowds lining the route. The event is expected to over shadow the lack lustre Jubilee on the Thames event. Will outshine the ongoing torch carrying jogging event and act as a  standard setting event for the 2012 Olympics games.

When: Sunday 15 July, from 2pm.
Where: Starting point at Paddington Basin (meet by the blue 'helix' bridge near Merchant Square, W2) finishes at River Thames, Chelsea.
Duration: approx 2 hours.
Tickets: Free, no booking required.

You boaters further north can still enjoy Ashcroft in Birmingham until the 29th of July.


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