Wandle Wonder Wander is a collaborative project by the XAP artists, continuing our fascination with rivers, particularly those urban waterways that have been lost and refound. This is a mixed-reality geolocation-based walk along the River Wandle in south London, exploring change, renewal, loss and quiet resilience along this special waterway.
The Wandle has a rich industrial heritage going back many centuries, when the river was harnessed for its power to move mill wheels, and the clear chalky water for growing watercress, textile dying, and an astonishing range of other industries, many of which brutally polluted the waters. William Morris and Liberty’s both had printworks by the river. The Wandle now has its distinctive landscape of large industrial units butting up against leafy river and meadow ecosystems, which manage to hang on, even flourish in places.
Made for Wandsworth Arts Festival, this walk spans from the southern to the northern edges of the borough, to the river’s confluence with the Thames. As you walk (with your mobile device) your presence triggers fragments of sounds, floating animations and text along the route. These fragments puncture the fabric of time momentarily, poking their past into your present.
Wandsworth Arts Fringe, 25th June – 11th July 2021