The Dear Green Bothy: Queer River Comes to Glasgow

After a recent Climate Museum UK meeting, I was invited by Mark Banks of Glasgow University to bring Queer River to Glasgow as part of The Dear Green Bothy – ‘hosting creative and critical responses to climate emergency‘ – in the lead up to the COP26 climate talks.

Queer River, Wet Land will take place in Glasgow on 9th and 10th of September, and will see me walking and making with Minty Donald, Artist and Professor of Contemporary Performance Practice at the School of Culture and Creative Arts.

Minty has a wealth of experience in working with rivers in her own practice, in particular through Guddling Aboutexploring humans’ interrelations with rivers and other watercourseswww.guddlingabout.com and Erratic Drifta project by Minty Donald and Nick Millar, in collaboration with the rocks, stones, and silt of Glasgowwww.erraticdrift.org.

Mute Swans on the Salisbury Avon

On the second day Minty and I will be joined by three more collaborators:

Rachel Clive – Theatre practitioner, writer, facilitator/teacher and researcher. Rachel’s art/science research interests include hydrofeminist practices and flood-risk management.

Cecilia Tortajada – Professor in Practice – Environmental Innovation at the School of Interdisciplinary Studies, Glasgow University. Working at present on complexity of water, environment and natural resources policy and management.

Ingrid Shearer – Archaeologist, Heritage Engagement Officer for the Glasgow Building Preservation Trust, and a previous collaborator of Minty’s.

Walking Pages (detail)

Queer River, Wet Land will focus on the interrelationship of land and water, and involve walking, making and dialogue with human collaborators and the rivers Kelvin, Clyde, and Molendinar Burn.

I’ll share documentation and reflections from the two days of walks here on the Queer River blog, and artwork that develops from them. Minty and I also plan to create a performance score as a result of the walks (new to my work but an integral part of Minty’s practice), which will support others (nationally and internationally) to collaborate with us remotely in Part 2 of the project. An online event will then follow in October/November in order to share the project and the work of our collaborators more widely (date/details tbc).

Canal Reflections

There’s so much about this project that I’m excited about, and so much that I know will grow from it, not least an exploration of the relationship between my walking/ecological practice and contemporary performance, and new working relationships with people carrying out such relevant and important work.

I’m thankful to Mark, Minty and the other collaborators for agreeing to join me and share their knowledge and experience, in a Queer River exploration of Glasgow’s waterways.

More to follow soon…

(The featured image for this post is titled River Clyde from Glasgow to Clydebank: Map of the river Clyde from Glasgow to Clydebank, and was created by the Clyde Navigation Trust in 1960)

Published by James Aldridge

Visual Artist and Consultant, working and playing with people and places. Based in Wiltshire, UK

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