with the flow

August and September

Several nationally significant rivers rise within Northamptonshire and define much of its boundary before continuing to different parts of the country: the Avon west and via the Severn into the Bristol Channel; the Cherwell south and by the Thames to the Thames Estuary and the Nene to the east into the Wash. Northamptonshire is defined by, and linked to, the rest of the country by its rivers.

With the Flow aims to explore Northamptonshire rivers from source to county boundary and develop the metaphors inherent in the idea of flow – source, journey, destination, travel, etc, with participant’s lives. The work will be undertaken by local communities and schools and supported by local poets and a photographer. Images and text generated by the project will be exhibited at Sywell Country Park and contribute to a brochure available for participants and visitors.

It is planned for two community and two school groups to participate and there will be an emphasis in With the Flow on quality, so the group sizes will be small to allow a strong interaction between artists, poets and participants. Each group will have one full day (half day site visits and workshop) and two further half day workshops. There will be one day planning for the artists and poets and one further day per group for editing and preparation of materials.

With the Flow will take place in August and September leading up to Charles Monkhouse’s Sywell Echo, a light installation on the old Sywell Reservoir in October 2011.

Charles Monkhouse

Charles Monkhouse is an artist working in rural and public spaces. He produces temporary installations, often on a vast scale, and permanent sculptures, working with other artists and professionals, in the landscape. Engagement of local stakeholders and communities is essential in his practice and helps inform, develop and realise his projects. Charles has an interest in the history of the rural environment, particularly how art has helped create and define the landscape we live in today.

Typical of his projects are: Night Stations, a series of light installations across land, often of a vast scale, that redraw and redefine past and future landscape; Sites of Meaning, working with parishioners of Middleton and Smerrill to mark the seventeen entrances to their parish; and Companion Stones, devised and led for Arts in the Peak, working with poets and artists to pair twelve Derbyshire guide stoops with matching stones bearing directions for the future.

Charles was a founder member and current chair of Arts in the Peak which campaigns for and promotes the arts in rural settings. He teaches part time at Chesterfield College and for Sheffield Hallam University.


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