Pearled two

We enjoyed some splendid weather throughout June and July, not least during the two very hot days of the Creekside Symposium held over midsummer in locations along Deptford Creek.

Mazi partners from Greece, Switzerland and Germany met with local artists, campaigners and residents from along Creekside.

Starting at the Hoy Kitchen on Creek Road, we viewed samples from the huge archive of images and film by cinematographer Gordon Cooper who has lived and worked in the area since the 70’s. His personal recollections and period images provided a glimpse onto fading memories of the industrial character and riverside landscape now transformed.

We trouped down the recently cleared Hoy Steps and on to the beach at low tide. A forest of overgrowth and rubbish was sorted and disposed of during community workshops, making them accessible for the first time in 20 years.

Karen Barnes talked about her work with DIY pinhole and camera obscura techniques, featuring local people and public places in the area many shot with a large box camera on wheels. Her mazizone has been attuned for work on the move, with rocket stove to charge the backup battery, integrated HD camera capturing work in progress. Images are automatically published alongside music projects and documentation of working practices.

Many people living on the boats moored at the Theatre Arm of the creek in Lewisham and Brookmarsh Estate in Greenwich face disruption as developer proposals challenge mooring arrangements and stir up anxiety for future security. Veteran mariners aired their concerns and expressed insight into the legal options and tactical steps they have taken to protect themselves.

Rising shore-side land values are driving a scramble for last scraps. Rents continue to speed beyond reach for all but the few.

Some of the planned outside activities were a relief from indoor workshops and talks. The afternoon sessions, one on a CDC lowtide walk in the creek and the other a picnic in the shade of Brookmill Park were welcome shelter from the scorching heat.

The evening was concluded with a bridge crossing walk following the Anchorhold path along the full tidal reach to the Creekmouth. The river path linking Lewisham to Greenwich here is over a pedestrian swing bridge completed in 2015 and opened everyday since to accommodate the gravel boats.

Many thanks again to all those who contributed to these great days of conversation and interaction, for the planning and support of those traveling to UK and for the many who took time out from their normal weekday activities to attend and share their stories.

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