Convergence: Swim, Walk, Explore

Convergence: Swim, Walk, Explore
Degree Art, London
(5 May – 9 July 2016)

Flow, meander, trace, explore. These four principles drive artists Lucy Devenish and Luke M. Walker on their urban exploits following the lost rivers of London from their sources to the River Thames.

The very nature of city walking demands flexibility to navigate changing obstacles in the cityscape. The outcome of each walk and the subsequent work produced therefore remain unpredictable. Just as the rivers flow – sometimes above, and oftentimes beneath, the ground – the routes tracked by the artists meander.

Amidst a dissonant cacophony, the artists must rigorously edit down their findings, presenting only a selection of the most relevant material, in an effort to remain true to the path. Yet all the while, wilderness can unveil itself at unexpected moments to those prepared to meet it.

The intended goal of each expedition is to undertake a swim in a non-municipal, wild body of water and follow each lost river’s path back to the Thames, where ultimately it returns to the sea. And alongside this swim, a walk, to record signs in the landscape, indicating where the water flows beneath the city, through its pipes, sewers and culverts.

The expeditions reinforce the artists’ shared fascination with immersion in landscape, both urban and wild, which is at the core of both their practices. Through the undertaking of joint expeditions, they examine the plurality of a shared experience through a series of print works. These are presented together with the results of their individual interrogations of the city and the sea.