“Twenty bridges from Tower to Kew –
Wanted to know what the River knew,
Twenty Bridges or twenty-two,
For they were young, and the Thames was old
And this is the tale that River told:” Rudyard Kipling
“What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.” William Henry Davies
I think living in London we tend to take the River Thames for granted – it’s just always there, coming in and going out on a daily basis without too much trouble for Londoners. There is always a small worry of floods but we’ve got the Thames Barrier to deal with that eventuality (I think).
However, once a year we turn to look at the Thames and celebrate our river’s existence.
In 2014 the Totally Thames Festival gave us this delight from the renowned Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman. It was quirky and fun.
2015 was something else.
The work is called “The rising tide” by underwater eco-sculptor Jason deCaires Taylor. Twice a day at low tide they are completely revealed, then through the day they submerge and re-emerge with the regularity of the tide.
I saw them first at lowest tide by myself which allowed me to look closely at the details of the sculptures, but then went back with some friends to watch as the tide came in.
For over an hour we stood watching the river as the tidal flow reversed the waterline.
We noticed the patterns of the swirling, incoming water against the embankment and across the sand and stones.
We noticed the subtle changes in the light as the late summer sun set and each rider was illuminated by turn.
We noticed the time it took for the river to rise far enough to lap against the riders feet and legs.
Entranced and delighted; for a little while in our busy schedules, we simply stopped and stared.
©Chez l’abeille 2015
The Thames Festival is on for a further 3 days so catch them if you can.