All ten of the Silk River UK walks are now complete! What an amazing journey – 138 miles by boot and by boat from Kew all the way to Southend on Sea.
We would like to extend a heart felt thank you to all the partners, performers, artists, walk leaders, link walkers, schools, teachers, boat owners and participants who made it such an outstanding success.
A message to all from Ali Pretty (Artistic Director):
“We created beautiful artworks that reflected our communities and connected us to each other. You gave us at Kinetika, our fellow walkers and our audiences a fabulous day in each place. From small seeds sown at Kew Gardens we walked for 10 days and 128 miles later we emerged at the end of the longest pier in the world in Southend carrying 22 x 6m silk scrolls where we were sent off with blessings and a song to board The Waverley sailing all the way back up the Estuary alighting at Tower Bridge – amazing!
Thanks to each and every one of you for your invaluable contribution to what has become an extraordinary project. I am very happy that we have nurtured a Silk River network along the Thames, one which celebrates and embraces the diversity of our population and in particular in 2017 our UK cultural connection with India.
We still have a fair few more miles to go – Diwali in Trafalgar Square, the exhibition at Kew Gardens and of course the 12-day journey along the banks of the Hooghly – that will continue to strengthen this foundation and extend to our partners in West Bengal.
If we can do this, then we can do more! It’s feels very empowering and I’d like to think that we can be proud to demonstrate that artists and arts projects such as Silk River really do have a role to play in shaping our futures.
Thank you for that, it’s an incredible gift.”
The walk might be over, but the beautiful banners will be appearing again at the following UK events:
- Sunday 15th Oct Diwali Celebration – Trafalgar Square
- Sunday 22nd Oct to Friday 27th Oct – Exhibition at Botanic Gardens Kew
- Thurs 16th Nov – Exhibition, workshop and reprise performance of the Tower Hamlets walk ‘from Street to Stage’ at the Brady Centre, as part of ‘A Season of Bangla Drama’.
This is followed by the culmination of the whole project, a culture and heritage inspired walk along the Hooghly River in West Bengal 6-17th December.
- More about the Indian Walk here.
Silk River has been developed and delivered by Kinetika in the UK and Think Arts in India along with an international team of artists, writers and photographers and is supported by Arts Council England, British Council, Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, Tower Hamlets Council, Royal Borough of Greenwich, Creative Barking & Dagenham, Thurrock Council, Dartford Council, Kent County Council, Gravesham Council, Southend-on-Sea Borough Council, Metal, Royal Opera House Thurrock Trailblazers programme, Bath Spa University and the Long Distance Walkers Association London Group.
It has featured as part of the Totally Thames festival, organised by the Thames Festival Trust, and the UK/India 2017 season curated by the British Council.
There have been so many people involved, we can’t name them all here, but we have created a separate credits page: Click here for full list of credits
Well done everyone, what a wonderful experience. Thank you.
These photos are from the Silk River Southend day by Stephen McGrath
These photos are from the Silk River Southend Walk 24th Sept by Mike Johnston.