RiverRun - Cape Farewell - The cultural response to climate change


A layer cake of creative possibility and public curiosity

Dorset, UK

Working with South West artists from defined demographics RiverRun will interrogate the way the Dorset land is farmed. The artist will connect with Cape Farewell's scientific partners the artists will seek to understand the environmental impact on the rivers that feed into Poole Bay and how this directly impacts on our lives and links to Climate Change.

The Artists will participate in a structured creative programme of research and development designed to embrace this complexity. They will be asked to produce well-worked creative proposals that acknowledge our human footprint and how it directly links to our physical and mental well-being. The challenge for the artists is to find a narrative form that is human scale, accessible and pertinent to our daily lives and importantly to make something that reaches out to its audience. An Artwork.

"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

The RiverRun project has grown from recent studies by the scientist Antony Jenson 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, the Frome River which feeds into Poole Harbour. Cape Farewell’s wants to use this information to feed into our wider conversation about the relationship between food production and land use, water courses and the associated links to Climate Change. 


Poet Helen Moore, performance artist Anna Frijstein, film-maker James Murray-White and lens-based artist David Buckland took part in our initial one week Pilot Programme in August 2020. With a focus on the Poole Harbour Catchment Initiative the artists engaged with local river science field work, farm visits and conversations with project partners.