Mapping the River Frome along its course from where it rises near Nettleton, to just before it joins the River Severn, this RiverMap uses a simplified, easy to follow, linear form familiar to anyone who has used mass transport in major cities and which was initiated on London’s Underground system.
Whereas most maps indicate places and topography, this map also examines the responses of individuals to the landscape offering subjective evaluations and responses to ‘place’.
The contrast between an essentially ‘urban mapping form’ and a map examining the rural environment was intended to create a new approach to looking at and ‘seeing’ this special landscape.
Along with specific major locations, the map refers to landscape descriptions used by the Cotswold Conservation Board to identify landscape types in Areas Outstanding Natural Beauty; many subjective observations about ‘place’ by members of the public; the names of woodlands, fields, farms and mills as well a reference to the historic use of the landscape around the river and the adjacent Stroudwater Canal.
RiverMap was created by Walking the Land as part of their ‘RIVER’ project which took place in 2013/14.
RIVER was a collective response by 27 Walking the Land artists including Stuart Butler, Lucy Guenot, Richard Keating, Valerie Coffin Price, Kel Portman, Deborah Roberts and Nik Taylor, exploring the river landscape and how it shapes our lives and community.
The project included water-related photographs, drawings, video and soundscapes, together with Tara Downs and Bart Sabel’s extraordinary Miniature Museum in which visitors were invited to leave their stories, objects and hopes.
It was exhibited in Ruskin Mill, Nailsworth and Stroud’s Museum in the Park and was supported by the Cotswold Conservation Board, in collaboration with Stroud Nature, who run the annual Stroud Festival of Nature and Stroud Community Land Trust and with additional input from Stroud Museum, Stroud Brewery, Rodborough Fields Preservation Group, Ruskin Mill and The Exchange and The Community Land Advisory Service.
More images from the RIVER exhibition can be viewed here: