Deptford Creek is an uncovered creek (one of the rare examples in London) and has still a considerable amount of wetlands on either side. Most tributary rivers of the Thames are invisible nowadays, flowing through sewer pipes under the pavement. Others are canalised and have flood barriers, losing significance as natural habitat. Deptford Creek is still ‘wild’. Although most people refer to the creek as a muddy mess, it is in fact an amazing ecosystem supporting many plants, birds, insects and micro-organisms. The Creekside Discovery Centre protects the area and organises many activities in and around the creek, most famously low tide creek walks that offer a profound experience to urbanites. Surprises are literally scattered along the creek. Discarded shopping trolleys provide shelter for small fishes, a raft is used as a nesting place for birds and the numerous nooks and crannies of the river walls provide habitat for a wild array of different plants and flowers. Shrimps and crabs can be caught with simple fishing nets. The intensity of the current, the reflection of the sunlight on the water, and the changing visual and sonic perspective together result in a regaining of respect for the natural powers that surround us and shape us.
In an ongoing collaboration several projects are developed together with the Creekside Education Trust, a series of short videos will be made available through their website and workshops combining botanical interest and analogue filmmaking are organised. Also, the Creek will be used to ‘harvest’ organically produced images on 35mm motion picture film. Time-lapse footage of the tides will show the dynamics and different forces that are at work here.