RiverRun - Cape Farewell - The cultural response to climate change


Dorset, UK

RiverRun will interrogate the way the Dorset land is farmed, and the links between farm practices, the rivers and waters that feed Poole Bay, and how this directly impacts on our lives and links to Climate Change.

Connecting with Cape Farewell’s scientific partners and local framers, artists will seek to understand the environmental impact on the rivers that feed into Poole Bay and will participate in a creative programme of research and development designed to embrace and interrogate this complex issue.

The RiverRun project has grown from recent studies by the scientist Antony Jensen at the National Oceanography Centre in Southampton, on the increased algae blooms that form in the summer in Poole Bay. These have a negative impact on wildlife, fish and human health, and proven links have been found with farm practice and food supply. Even organic food production has environmental impacts, witnessed by the algae blooms on the Sydling Water which runs past Cape Farewell’s HQ in Sydling St Nicholas and feeds into the Frome River, which, in turn, feeds into Poole Harbour. Cape Farewell wants this information to be part of our wider conversation about the relationship between food production and land use, water courses and the associated links to Climate Change.

"a way a lone a last a loved a long the riverrun, past Eve and Adam’s, from swerve of shore to bend of bay, brings  us by a commodius vicus of recirculation..." Finnegan’s Wake by James Joyce


In August 2020, poet Helen Moore, performance artist Anna Frijstein, film-maker James Murray-White and lens-based artist David Buckland took part in a one week workshop at Cape Farewell’s HQ, The WaterShed. Over five days the four artists, plus Cape Farewell Trustee and Emeritus Professor of Psychology, Wendy Hollway, met with some of our scientific and farming partners, and emersed themselves in the science, farming, politics and culture of the Frome Valley, one of UK’s paramount chalk rivers.

Inspired by this Pilot, the artists are being supported to continue interrogating the issues and produce works that respond to the science, finding narrative forms on a human scale that are accessible and pertinent to our daily lives and importantly to make something that reaches out to its audience. An Artwork.


The Research and Development Phase will culminate in an exhibition, events and workshops in autumn 2021, and we are deligthed to be partnering with Durlston Counrty Park in Swanage and Lighthouse in Poole. We are also planning and an open call for six new south-west based artists to join the proejct in summer 2021 as we further develop RiverRun through 2021 and 2022.

RiverRun Artists

Helen Moore
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Helen Moore is an award-winning British ecopoet, essayist, short fiction writer, community artist and environmental educator based in North East Somerset. Her debut ecopoetry collection, Hedge Fund, And Other Living Margins, was described as being 'in the great tradition of visionary politics in British poetry'. Her second, ECOZOA, has been acclaimed by the Australian poet, John Kinsella, as 'a milestone in the journey of ecopoetics'.
Helen's poems, essays and short stories have appeared in a range of national and international journals and anthologies, and she is regularly invited to read her work at literary and environmental events. In 2018 Helen gave the annual INSPIRE lecture at the Hay Festival.
In 2020 Helen's work was nominated in 'best poem' category for the Forward Prize and was a winner in the Center for Interfaith Relations' Sacred Essays competition.
Helen also collaborates in making poetry films, including Green Spin, made with Howard Vause, which won third prize in the Liberated Words Poetry Film Festival 2013.
Helen loves to support others on their creative writing journeys, and offers a unique programme of online mentoring, Wild Ways to Writing.

James Murray-White
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James Murray-White is a multi-media artist who has worked across theatre, journalism and reviews, and now focuses on creating powerful and moving films for a range of projects, campaigns and clients.
Based in Cambridge, UK, James has also lived and worked in Scotland, Eire, Mongolia, and the Middle East. His passions include exploring ecological connections, anthropological spaces, and creative responses to issues.
James is filmmaker in residence with GroundWork Gallery in King’s Lynn, Norfolk, documenting their award-winning work with artists exploring environmental issues.
He has been filmmaker in residence within the NHS & Cambridge University Dementia Research Network, and senior producer for Cambridge TV.
James is a Salzburg Global Fellow, participating in the Creativity and Neuroscience programme of Salzburg Global Seminar, an independent non-profit organization founded in 1947 to challenge current and future leaders to shape a better world.
James is a passionate campaigner for various social justice campaigns, especially that of refugees, and on climate change and the need for co-ordinated human response, from the individual through to the societal level.

Anna Frijstein
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Anna Frijstein was born in Huizen, Netherlands, and lives and works between London and Amsterdam.
Anna is a multidisciplinary artist - visual, digital, social and almost always performative - whose multifaceted art practice evokes the bestial side of ‘socialised' human beings. Striving towards an ecology of all, she creates worlds where animals, plants, rocks, pieces of plastic, ‘authentic' children and monstrous human beings can learn from and teach one another. Inspired by Mike Kelley’s ‘Twisted Pedagogy’, Anna’s bold linguistic play and her live performed characters often slip and fail in their goals of self-improvement resulting in a celebration of the awkward. Although her childlike work appears comical and playful, her layered pieces concern the emotional relationship to profound current ecological and political issues.
"Dreaming of a better world for all... Beneath the playful naivety lies an unsettling layer of dark humour that confronts suppressed feelings around current socio-psychological, political and ecological issues."

David Buckland
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David is a designer, artist and film-maker whose lens-based works have been exhibited in numerous galleries in London, Paris and New York, and collected by the National Portrait Gallery, London; the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; the Metropolitan Museum, New York; the Getty Collection, Los Angeles; and the Michael Wilson Collection amongst others. 
In 2001 David created and now directs the Cape Farewell project which without expectation has become a global entity. The work of the artists and climate scientists have been the subject of two major films, Art From The Arctic for the BBC and Burning Ice for Sundance.
David has co-curated major climate art exhibitions, Art and Climate Change for the National History Museum, London 2006; Earth for the Royal Society of Arts; U-n-f-o-l-d which has toured worldwide; Carbon 12 for the EDF foundation gallery in Paris, 2012; Carbon 13 for the Ballroom Texas, 2013; and the Carbon 14 exhibition and festival in Toronto 2013/14.
Five books of David’s photographs have been published including works on the Trojan Wars and The Last Judgment featuring the sculptures of Sir Anthony Caro, and two monographs of his own work.
David has designed over 20 stage sets, as well as costumes, for Siobhan Davies Dance, the Royal Ballet, Rambert Dance Company, Second Stride and Compagnie Cré-Ange.
The notion that art can interrogate the future with some semblance of rigor has been analyised and researched and become instrumental in facing the challenge of Climate Change.

Scientific Partners

Dr Simon Boxall – National Oceanography Centre
Dr Rasmus Lauridsen – Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust
Prof Genoveva Esteban – Bournemouth University
Dr Antony Jensen – National Oceanography Centre
Dr John Murphy – Queen Mary University, London

Local Organic Farming Partners

Pam & Will Best – Manor Farm, Sydling St Nicholas
Chris Legg – Dollens Farm, Sydling St Nicholas
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