16 points of connection

Work in progress, 2022-23

On walks in the Lower Lea Valley—from Leamouth to Hartford—I have focused my attention on ecological, industrial, and social aspects, attempting to read past and present conditions of access, ownership, and land use through its waters and surrounding sites. I am interested in exploring the varied relationships communities have built with the waters and land in the Lea Valley and how this has been achieved and resisted collectively.

‘Sixteen points of connection’ explores the spaces of connection between humans, ecologies, and histories of the Lea Valley. In the summer of 2022, I walked from the mouth of the river northward, roughly thirty miles outside of London, following the waters of the Lea. When encountering fellow walkers and our eyes met, I would suggest taking their portrait and asking them to gaze at the river, taking a moment to see the waters flow. The corresponding landscape photographs were taken the following winter.

Ongoing photographic experiments recording thriving underwater life are combined with research materials on water infrastructure and pollution in the Lea river waters, from the construction of the Northern Outfall Sewers in 1859 to current Thames Water sewage discharges into London rivers.

Three walks have been developed into foldable pocket publications, which include three sets of questions. Their purpose is to be taken on walks along these routes with the hope that the questions in them might prompt further and deeper inquiries.

Please get in touch if you have a connection to the Lea River and/ or are intersted in working with deep mapping methods to explore ecologies around the Lea Vallley.

All content © 2012-2023 Tamara Rabea Stoll