Tidelines is a community-led CIC (Community Interest Company) led by myself working with Jo Salter and an advisory board, bringing together arts, science, action and research. We work with people of all ages creating ways to come together in collaboration to celebrate and care for the Exe estuary and coast, and to find ways to adapt and respond collectively to the changes caused by climate change and the catastrophic loss of biodiversity that is impacting the place we live.
Tidelines started in 2020 with pilot funding from EU socially-engaged universities fund, University of Exeter and have received subsequent funding from East Devon Council, Global Systems Institute, Creative Peninsula, RAMM (Royal Albert Memorial Museum), Exeter City Council, Westcountry Rivers Trust and British Ecological Society.
Some example projects:
Salmon Run 2022 & 2023
A relay from the mouth of the Exe running to the Atlantic salmon spawning grounds in the wooded valleys of Exmoor, a journey of 50 miles, connecting to and empathizing with the migration of Atlantic Salmon in our river. The salmon is a keystone species which tells us about climate change, changing water temperatures in seas and rivers, water flow and water quality, biodiversity loss and barriers to movement in the river, in particular the weirs. Salmon occupy a critical and important place in our river’s ecosystem, culture and history. Salmon Run includes a live run/ritual/performance with over 100 participants, a written invocation to the Salmon, a podcast, graphic artwork and lino cuts. In 2022 it was funded as a pilot by Creative Arc, a unique collaboration between the University of Exeter, Exeter City Council and The Royal Albert Memorial Museum & Art Gallery and Creative Peninsula. In 2023 it evolved to include a 5km as one of the relay legs and an Ultra run with runners completing the whole journey. This year Salmon Run was funded by a Aviva Wild Isles Crowdfunder, Westcountry Rivers Trust and Creative Penninsula. We work on Salmon Run with Wild Running CIC
Listen to project podcast about the life and culture of Atlantic Salmon on the Exe including voices of fisherman, female angler, fisheries expert and salmon scientists here.
Alive, Alive O! 2022 & 2023
Working with Sophie Nedelec, marine bio-accoustics researcher, composer Emma Welton, singer Sarah Owen and community singers and swimmers to explore sound and song as a restoration cue for blue mussel colonies in the Exe. As part of Alive Alive O! we learnt more about their habitat in the Exe and their vital part in a healthy ecosystem as a keystone species with Martin Syvret, aquaculturalist and Jason Ingham, inshore fisherman. Activity included talks, singing and performance at different locations around the estuary. Funded by the British Ecological Society and University of Exeter.
High Water 2021
60 contributors from around the world took part with an online audience of 200 over 12 hours + from high tide to high tide on the highest tide of the year in the Exe sharing stories of oceans, tides and climate change. Contributors include sailors, marine researchers, artists, poets, musicians, an ex-lighthouse keeper and swimmers. Working with art.earth and Sustainable Earth Institute, University of Plymouth. Watch segments of the day here.
A Body of Water 2021
A creative lab day with 20 people from different estuary towns and villages and South West Water, RSPB, Westcountry Rivers Trust, Marine Biological Association, sound artist Kathy Hinde and visual artist Shelley Castle exploring water quality on the Exe. This contributed to the forming of ESCAPE, an active citizen campaigning group on sewage pollution in Exmouth and the Exe.
Exe Estuary Box 2020
A box of creative activities was posted or cycled to 350 people/families around the Exe during lockdown to gather questions, concerns, views, creative and emotional responses to living in the Exe estuary. Boxes were returned to us and presented at two outdoor pop up exhibitions on either side of the estuary and as an online resource (personal maps, questions, almanac). People’s concerns, interests and questions helped to form the basis for future work.
The Sea Around Us 2020
A mass reading project (100+ participants) during lockdown of Rachel Carson’s remarkable book on ocean systems The Sea Around Us working with the Devon Libraries service with libraries in Dawlish, Exmouth, Topsham, St Thomas. Discussion events took place online and in person with earth systems scientists and marine biologists from Marine Biological Association and Global Systems Institute.
Tidelines has helped to spawn the Friends of the River Exe group and continues to explore creative, interdisciplinary working and partnerships locally and further afield. Tidelines website for information, events, blogs and other project partners: www.tidelines.uk.