walk 13: fulham bridge to wandsworth bridge, with sarah butler

4 Jun

Southside | Start: 13:29 | End: 14:36 | Duration: 1:07

This row of houses, with their bay windows and magnolia trees, steal our river view.

Two waterproofed men scan the riverbed for precious things. They’ve been coming here for years, with their metal detectors and pockets.

Polystyrene coffee cup, car part, rope length. Rubbish lines the tide, back and forth, coming back again. Mud-encrusted tyre, colourless cone – they have lost their way, from road to river.

Could you write a square of water?

An avenue of plane trees, like green leafy candyfloss on sticks.

In the middle of the river, four barges brim with foliage for the birds to nest and roost. In the middle of the river, four open fists of habitat loss compensation lie.

Riverboats extending tall into the sky. Another exclusive development, except this is waterborne – decks crammed with pot plants; fairground bunting.

Where the river meets a river, sits a vast red Meccano building recycling waste into bales. We are charmed by red metal angles and a sense of purpose.

The Spit – a hush of rushes – a damselfly – the sculpture crosses bird with machine. We find a heavy lemony vegetation smell where once marshy creeks were.

 

This piece was created collaboratively by Sarah and Gemma (in italics). Both wrote ten single sentence descriptions of the walk, which were spliced together in chronological order, edited and then positioned on the page.

 


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