We love and care for your canals and rivers, because everyone deserves a place to escape.

2015 programme

Take a look at some of the art highlights from 2015.

Floating cinema on waterway at dusk Floating cinema, courtesy of Hydar Dewachi

Details of our 2016 programme will be available soon.

  • Super Slow Way 2015: This £2.5m, three-year programme for  the Leeds & Liverpool Canal continued to take shape in 2015. Led by local communities and professional producers  and funded by Art Council England's Creative People and Partnership programme, we are proud to be the lead organisation. Through 2015 we worked with key partners, including Pennine-based arts organisations and lead businesses. The initiative is being led by Laurie Peake who is known internationally for her curatorial work. Laurie was formally Programme Director, Public Art for Liverpool Biennial.

  • Artists in Residence Wales: Glandŵr Cymru, Arts Council of Wales and Addo continued with our exciting three-year programme of artists residencies across Wales’ waterways. Andrew Dodds and Alan Goulbourne completed their residencies on the Mon & Brec and Llangollen in 2014. Mair Hughes started her six-month residency in  2015 along the Montgomery Canal and will complete in 2016. Four more residencies, two of which will be in Venice, Italy and Emscher, Germany, will take place in 2016. A final exhibition in 2017 will bring together new work made as a result of all the residencies.

  • Canal Laureate 2015: This was the final year of Jo Bell's wonderful tenure as Canal Laureate. The collaboration between the Trust and the Poetry Society enabled Jo, who is also an experienced boater, to grow her practice and become a superb ambassador for the Canal & River Trust. Jo worked with established poets and offered amazing new perspectives of our rivers and canals. She wrote regular blogs and tweets, produced a wonderful set of new film-poems with the Poetry Society and her new book, Kith, was published by Nine Arches Press. Details can be found on the Waterlines website.

  • STAY by Antony Gormley: in partnership with Landmark Trust to mark its 50th Anniversary, we were very proud to share in a new sculpture by Sir Antony Gormley. Installed at Lowsonford Lock, Lengthman’s Cottage on the South Stratford Canal, the life-size figure will be in place as part of a series of five others at Landmark Trust locations around Britain until May 2016.

  • Stratford 2 Stratford: Young people had the unique experience of exploring Shakespeare in the context of an unforgettable waterways journey in June 2015.  They rehearsed A Midsummer's Night Dream as they travelled along the canals - from their school (Chobham Academy in Stratford east London) to Stratford-upon-Avon in Warwickshire - working with the amazing Rubbish Shakespeare Company and the RSC. This was a once-in-a-lifetime summer for the students which culminated in brilliant performances of the play, in Stratford-upon-Avon and at their school's excellent new theatre.

  • The Line: The Trust was a supporting partner in the launch of this new sculpture walk for London, featuring work by internationally acclaimed artists. The Line follows our Lea Navigation and the Meridian line from the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park to the Royal Docks and the 02 Arena. The selected sculptures are by major contemporary artists including Abigail Fallis; Martin Creed; Eduardo Paolozzi; Damien Hirst, Piotr Uklanski and Gary Hume.

  • Floating Cinema on the Kennet & Avon: Supported by the Canal & River Trust, British Film Institute and the Arts Council, Up Projects commissioned the artists known as Somewhere to create another vibrant programme along the K&A. Film screenings and documentaries drawn from national and local archives were presented on board the award winning boat and on buildings by the towpaths along the route. Talks and dusk tours featured alongside an extremely well received audience engagement programme. 
  •  Black Country Voyages: Commissioned by Ikon Gallery and supported by the Trust, Jacques Nimki was the lead artist for this project in 2015, exploring Black Country canals. Jacques  transformed the Aaron Manby boat into a floating laboratory of herbal liquids taken from local plants. Lozenges, cordials, country wines, sorbets and teas were available to taste at  events from June to September.

  • Rough Fish: The Trust partnered with new media specialists, Abandon Normal Devices, to commission Rough Fish, a new canal game by Mexican collective TRES at key locations on our Manchester & Pennine waterway. In April 2015 the public were invited to use a bespoke fishing kit and floating GPS beacons to locate and catalogue various items of litter and waste on the Rough Fish mobile game app.

  • Clay Cargo at British Ceramic Biennial: This was the final year of this canal-inspired clay project on waterways between Stoke-on-Trent and London. The Clayground Collective in partnership with the Trust, British Ceramic Biennial, Central St Martins College of Art and the Argent Plc created a large-scale ceramic installation at the international British Ceramic Biennial in the famous Spode Factory, Stoke-on-Trent. Outdoor participation events with clays from around the world also took place by the Regents Canal, Kings Cross.

  • The Leverhulme Trust Artist in Residence – National Waterways Museum, Ellesmere Port: theatre artist Francesca Millican-Slater worked through 2015 with Trust staff and volunteers to produce a series of creative, interactive interventions at the museum. Drawing on the wealth of resources at Ellesmere, Francesca's workshops and performances evoked life on our historic waterways. Her work has provided an opportunity for us to explore new and exciting ways of interpreting this important part of our industrial history. This work has been funded by an Artist in Residence Grant from the Leverhulme Trust

Last date edited: 25 January 2016