River Studies is an ongoing project that explores how rivers affect people and cultures. Blending photography, data visualisation and cartography, the exhibition at Phoenix will feature a fascinating array of films and prints, alongside an interactive online artwork: play.riverstudies.org.
Rivers play a vital role in every landscape they flow though. Their basins give life to the land that surrounds them and they are a key economic resource – a site for trade, transport and religious worship. But they also draw pollution, violence and warfare, acting as borders as well as places of connection.
Rivers have had a long and complex relationship with human society, carving pathways that accumulate history and identity. How much of it is reflected by their appearance? Some differences are inevitable: urban and rural areas, changes in vegetation. But there are also more gradual and subtle differences to discover and explore.