River Studio


  • River_Studio

    Courtesy of the artists.

Past Event

This event was on Sat 14 Aug, 11am - 3pm


Situated along a strip of east London Thames beach at low tide, River Studio invites artists and researchers from all disciplines to consider the material, political and imaginary ecologies of water. This workshop explores how humans and nonhumans cocompose water and considers the cultural, spectral and chemical impacts that form, inform and are formed by the river. Our collaborative enquiries draw on science and art to reimagine how rivers are examined, understood and interpreted.

We ask a deceptively simple question: what is in the water? Responses will be co-constructed across analogue and digital modes through practices that incorporate methods of listening and attunement, speculative writing and assemblageThe outcomes of the workshop will be shared online following the event 

This workshop is developed in partnership with Arts Catalyst and forms part of Matterlurgy’s online project sensitives.stream.

This event is part of our season Ways of Knowing: Water / Fluidity.

Booking Information

This workshop has a limited capacity and we particularly welcome attendees who have an active interest in water ecologies. To register and confirm your place, please send a short statement about your interest in the event to publicprogrammes@whitechapelgallery.org.

Key Information
  • Full details including meeting point will be sent to all confirmed attendees prior to the event.
  • The studio will unfold over 3 hours with a short break halfway through and will conclude with drinks and further discussions outside the Prospect of Whitby pub. 
  • Participants will need to bring their own refreshments and suitable waterproof clothing
  • Unfortunately the site is not accessible for wheelchair users.
About Matterlurgy

Matterlurgyis a collaborative practice between London based artists Helena Hunter and Mark Peter Wright. Their work addresses critical ecologies embroiled in climate crisis, across disciplines and media, often combining the production of artworks with co-constructed events and live performance. Helena works with text, performance and digital media. Mark’s practice intersects sound, assemblage and installation. As a duo, they have produced projects about flooding, land degradation, air pollution, waste, and climate modelling. Artworks have been made with sites including a hydropower station, disused steelworks, a laboratory for ice simulation, an abandoned copper mine, and in galleries and museum collections. They have collaborated with scientists at The University of Cambridge, King’s College London, University College London, Royal Holloway University of London, and the University of Sheffield.

Matterlurgy’s work has been commissioned and exhibited across international venues and partners including: Delfina Foundation, Tate Modern, Raven Row Gallery, Arts Catalyst, BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, ICA, The Showroom Gallery, Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art (MIMA), Gazelli Art House, UK Green Film Festival (UK), Bòlit Contemporary Arts Centre (Spain), Mains d’Œuvres (France), ONOMA (Finland), Dalane Kulturfestival (Norway), HIAP Frontiers of Retreat (Helsinki). Current work includes a cross-disciplinary project about river ecosystems sensitives.stream (Arts Catalyst, UK); ongoing research with the Archipelago Research Institute (Taru Elfving, CCA, Seili/Turku), and a new film in collaboration with scientists at The National Oceanography Centre (John Hansard Gallery & Onassis Stegi).

Their work has recently been featured in: Third Text journal, MIMA’s interview series Hearing from Artists and the publication Remain by Ioana B. Jucan, Jussi Parikka and Rebecca Schneider (University of Minnesota Press, 2019). Their project Beneath the Signal and Noise is included in the UK Green Guide: Creative Responses to Sustainability, 2021 published by Asia-Europe Foundation