Riverside Arts Group exhibition – Many Rivers to Cross

Image above: Many Rivers to Cross exhibition at the Riverside Studios

A 2D art exhibition with performance, poetry and sound as well

The Riverside Arts Group exhibition Many Rivers to Cross starts with a live ‘installation performance’ at 5.45 – 8pm on Friday (2 September, free) in the main foyer of the Riverside Studios, with dance artist Giacomo Pini.

The exhibition itself, on until Sunday 2 October, showcases the work of 30 artists who are members of the Riverside Artists Group, showing new work on the theme of the River Thames, as part of the Totally Thames Festival.

Each artist is collaborating with another maker, poet, object or app to create work ranging from visual media to performance, poetry and sound. There will also be art workshops during the month.


Image above: Work by Aude Grasset, Lucille Dweck, Chloe Freemantle, Felicity Swan and Jane Oldfield of the Riverside Artists Group

Riverside Artists Group

Riverside Artists Group was established in 1986, a not-for-profit organisation representing a diverse group of 40 practising artists. Members have exhibited nationally and internationally. New members are welcomed annually ‘to create an exciting and progressive community’.

The artists work mainly within 2D: painting, drawing, photography, printmaking and collage, with the range extending to sculpture, performance and digital art, which is why for this exhibition they have decided to branch out by pairing up with performance artists, working in other media.

Exhibiting Artists:  Mike Abrahams, Susan Bazin, Lynne Beel, Clare Belfield, Peter Blegvad, Natalia Bobrova, G Calvert, Stephen Carter, Grazyna Cydzik, Brian Deighton, Josie Deighton, Lucille Dweck, Shona Elrick, Chloe Fremantle, Máire Gartland, Saadeh George, Sarah Granville, Aude Grasset, Janey Hagger, Anton Harding, Martin Ireland, Seil Lien, C Morey de Morand, Jane Oldfield, Dee Semple, Sena Shah, Felicity Swan, Celia Toler, Miles Watson, Stephen Williams.

Collaborating partners include:  Heather Allan, Clive Barger, Kaye Blegvad, Frans van den Boogaard, Cathy Dineen, Francesca Giuliano, John Greaves, Pauline Harding, Simon Hiscock, Jackson Holmes, Langston Hughes, Geoff Lee, Shepherd Manyika, Madeline Marsh, Belinda McKenna-Bicknell, Vanessa Nassar, Araba Ocran, Rita Parniczky, Giacomo Pini, Pam Toler.


Images above: Stained glass lantern workshop; Spontaneous Art & Storytelling workshop


There are a number of workshops durng the exhibition.  On Saturday 10 and Saturday 17 September you can take part in a stained glass lantern workshop led by participating artists Máire Gartland and Janey Hagger and on Saturday 24 September a candlelight lantern walk at dusk from Riverside Studios actoss Hammersmith Bridge and back with lanterns made at the workshops.

On Saturday 24 September there will be a Spontaneous Art & Storytelling performance and workshop, a collaboration between Riverside Artists Group member Felicity Swan and oral storyteller Belinda McKenna-Bicknell, of Curious House of Stories – a combination of intuitive drawing and storytelling.

Image above: The Great River Race; photograph Chiswick Pier Trust

Totally Thames Festival

The Totally Thames festival is an annual event throughhout the month of September celebrating the River Thames. Events in the schedule include walks and talks, exhibitions and expeditions, with subjects ranging across the arts, history and science. Here are just three examples:

‘The Settlers’ music video highlights the importance of the River Thames and Nine Elms as a popular destination over the centuries for Irish settlers seeking employment, particularly in the construction industry.

Thames Sightseeing offer a boat trip exploring the world of Victorian engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel. Under three Brunel bridges, through Brunel’s tunnel, the best kept secret in London.

‘A London sightseer’s checklist, from the Houses of Parliament to the Tower of London. A secret gateway for the Tsar of Russia. Six dead men on a haunted ship. Five famous riverside pubs. Broken bones by the silent Harpy. Broken slipways on the Isle of Dogs. Four white ensigns. Three Brunels. Two ideas from Isle of Dogs. And a monster ship.’

The Rewilding Arcadia Roadshow offers a fun-filled few days of activities for all the family to learn more about rewilding and the natural floodplain of the Thames.

There are 102 events listed in all which you can browse on the Totally Thames Festival website.


Image above: Stand up paddleboarders; photograph Anna Kunst


Tidefest at Strand on the Green is part of the Totally Thames Festival, with river cruises, trips to Oliver’s Island and Brentford Ait, archeological walks and mudlarking, stand up paddleboarding, kayaking and a fishing competition. Sunday 4 September. Find out more from the Tidefest website.


The Great River Race

The Great River race is also part of the Totally Thames Festival. The gruelling 21 mile course runs upstream from London Docklands to Ham and attracts over 330 crews from all over the globe. This year the race takes place on Saturday 10 September.

Chiswick Pier is a great spot to watch it as you get a good view both upstream and downstream. Chiswick Pier Trust will be offering hot and cold refreshments, and wine and beer from 11am, hot Moroccan food from Argania and homemade organic ice creams from Non Solo Gelato.

The race begins at Docklands at 09.50 on a “slowest first, fastest last” handicap basis. The first boats should be passing Chiswick Pier around 11.45am with the winners arriving at Ham by 1pm.

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Chiswick In Pictures exhibition Autumn 2022

See also: Brentford’s Creative Mile

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