Chelmsford’s two main rivers, the river Can and the river Chelmer, are about to become the focal subject in a series of upcoming events. 

The programme of events looks to inspire and develop some creative thinking around the future of our waterways. 

Throughout the pandemic, Chelmsford’s green spaces and waterways have been lifelines for many residents, providing opportunities for escapism and exploration. As well as being popular walking and cycling routes, they’re home to a lot of wildlife too. The planned events are the beginning of ongoing conversations to help connect the public with the local waterways even more. 

Aerial view of the River Chelmer. Photo credit: Muhammad Yaqub Ali Akbar
Above: aerial view of the River Chelmer. Photo credit: Muhammad Yaqub Ali Akbar 

The unveiling of Current, by Sian Fan 

Sian Fan, a local interdisciplinary artist will be launching her digital waterways artwork, Current. City Life caught up with Sian earlier this year to learn about her passion for using digital art to create innovative online experiences, and now it’s time to share the project with the public.  

Her creative response to Chelmsford’s waterways will be exhibited at Unit 37 of The Meadows Shopping Centre from 28 July to the 1 August. Sian herself, will be at the exhibition on Sunday 1 August, to meet visitors and chat about her work. She will show previews of her website which is to go live on 2 August. 

Sian has exhibited internationally with venues including Tate Modern, British Council, and the ICA, as well as producing work with Channel 4, the BBC and Google, and was recently longlisted for the Lumen Prize. The Lumen Prize is an international award which celebrates art created with technology, especially digital art. 

Exhibition:  Unit 37, The Meadows Shopping Centre CM2 6FD (the old Hawkin’s Bazaar unit) 

Wednesday 28 July – Sunday 1 August. Mon-Fri 9-17.30, Saturday 9-6 Sunday 10.30-4.30  

Ignite Chelmsford Social talk 

As well as the exhibition of her latest work, Sian Fan will be joining Public Art Manager Jennifer Gill from Canal Convergence for an Ignite Chelmsford Social. The talk will explore the themes of water, art and technology.  

They will be drawing on their own experiences to inspire discussions around how to create immersive opportunities that bring people together. They want to stimulate others to think about the future possibilities for Chelmsford’s rivers and canals.  

Award-winning Canal Convergence run an inspiring annual programme on the theme of water, art and light on the Scottsdale Waterfront in Arizona. Jennifer Gill will share how they develop the programme with the aim of sparking imaginations as towhat could be developed in Chelmsford.  

Ignite Chelmsford is a network for anyone working, volunteering, or studying in the creative and cultural industries. Ignite Socials are informal, open to everyone and hosted monthly – providing an opportunity to connect, share and be inspired. 

If you have an interest in Chelmsford’s waterways, go along this month and get involved in the discussions linking art and technology with water. 

Event: Unit 37, The Meadows Shopping Centre CM2 6FD, the old Hawkins Bazaar unit .
Thursday 29 July, 7-10pm  

You can sign up here:  https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/water-art-and-technology-creating-immersive-experiences-that-bring-people-tickets-162524736863   
 

Water, art and the city programme is a partnership with Chelmsford City Culture, Meadows Shopping Centre, Chelmsford City Parks, Essex Cultural Diversity Project, Ignite Chelmsford, Chelmsford Creative Collective and Chelmsford Arts and Culture Festival. 

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