Focus on the Arts

Our arts programme is transforming places and enriching lives. It provides artists with time and space along the waterways where they can slow down, research and make ambitious new work responding to important social, environmental and heritage questions.

Mahtab Hussain Mitti Ka Ghar Installation Ikon Gallery

The programme supports us in our mission to change public attitudes to its canals and rivers and engage with a wider diversity of people who live alongside them. We want the arts to help local people reimagine their waterways for the future. 

You might wish to take a look at some of our highlights for the coming 12 months.   

Super Slow Way

Taking its name from a poem by Ian McMillan telling the story of the Leeds & Liverpool Canal, Super Slow Way is working with communities across the North West to deliver a range of different art commissions and residencies inspired by this very special waterway.

The Ring (Worcester Ring)

The Ring is a series of events and commissions celebrating the region’s canals and rivers, focused around the 21 mile circle of waterways made up by the Worcester & Birmingham Canal, the Droitwich Canals and the River Severn. Artists will draw their inspiration while connecting with local people and the area’s cultural heritage before producing an original memorable artwork or performance in 2018. Weekend-based events will excite and draw new visitors to the waterways and towns and tie-in with local arts festivals.

Idle Women on the Water

Writing a blog incorporating incisive, satirical poems the Canal Laureate, Luke Kennard, continues to reveal his humorous, surreal canal-side journeys. Luke Kennard is the second Canal Laureate appointed by the Canal & River Trust in partnership with The Poetry Society. Luke’s poems and surreal observations from the narrow fluid road are published on the project website

Changing Places

We are delighted to be a partner with Film & Video Umbrella for Changing Places, a remarkable touring programme of moving-image work by artists from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh that will be presented in ten venues across England during 2017 and 2018. Five of the venues are unusual waterways buildings that the Trust manages or supports. Changing Places addresses the idea of people and places in transition, alluding to the topical phenomenon of migration.

Floating Cinema 2017

For another summer, The Floating Cinema will again be returning to our waterways bringing its eclectic cinematic experience. This year UP Projects has commissioned artist, Harry Meadley, to create On the Bench, a series of nine short films. Working in collaboration with residents from the towns and cities along the canal route from Sheffield to Hull, the work will feature the artist in conversation with key community members as a way to explore contemporary life in Yorkshire. 

There are many opportunities for you to get involved in our Arts on the Waterways programme, whether that be attending an exhibition or performance, or heading to one of our many art events along our waterways. To keep in touch with all the latest news and events and to find out more information about our projects, please head to our Arts on the Waterways pages below 

Last date edited: 29 March 2017