17 May – 27 October 2013
Twelve contemporary artists offer new insight into this often overlooked, yet utterly compelling, area of London and the people that live and work there.
Londoners have an ambivalent relationship with 'the estuary' – the outer limit of the Thames where the river becomes the sea.
While the Estuary threatens to swamp the city with powerful tidal surges and rising sea levels it is, at the same time, threatened by new plans for transport and energy generation within the city.
In order to explore the conflicting ideas surrounding the London estuary the museum has brought together works by a host of leading artists, including two brand new commissions produced specially for the exhibition.
One such example is Christiane Baumgartner’s set of prints; each depicting half sunken ships in the mud of the River Medway, while other projects include Horizon by John Smith, which captures the changing view out to sea from Margate over several months.
Meanwhile Stephen Turner traces the history of the area; his work is the result of his 36-day residence alone on a derelict tower of the Shivering Sands Seafort.
Other highlights include Gayle Chong Kwan's The Golden Tide, a photo series of refuse found in the Estuary which began as a social media project on Instagram, and paintings by Jock McFadyen and Peter Marshall which use the urban landscape surrounding the area as inspiration.
This display is the museum's largest exhibition of contemporary art to date and provides a focal point for its 10th anniversary celebrations.