Mudlark Walks: Flotsam Talismans

Interested in experiencing performance art while exploring a rarely-trodden part of London and coming away with an environmentally-conscious souvenir at the same time? Sebastian Hau-Walker, MA student on UEL’s Contemporary Performance Practices course, has created an event that’s aimed at doing exactly that.

Mudlark Walks: Flotsam Talismans is an hour-long immersive performance, interactive workshop, and ritual for renewal performed by Sebastian along the foreshore of the river Thames at low tide. Audiences will be joining Sebastian to walk, find and discover found objects, materials and tools washed up along the exposed beaches of the Thames foreshore. Through audio instructions, the tour group will be working alone and together to make amulets and charms for luck, courage and protection, which they can then keep, return or give back to the river, a stranger or even the artist himself.

Sebastian hopes his performance will allow audiences to explore the hidden histories and imagined futures of the river Thames, from the rise and fall of the mudlarks (historical scavengers who searched the Thames for items of value in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries) through to present day problems of plastic pollution and climate change, and beyond into sci-fi visions of London yet to come. Mudlark Walks: Flotsam Talismans asks its participants to uncover how they think and feel about the changes of shifts and tides - local and global, personal and political, big and small - that affect them as collectives and as individuals.

Sebastian said: "As an MA student on the Contemporary Performance Practices course here at UEL I'm developing new skills around devising cutting-edge, interactive performance. Join me at the river this September, where I'll take you on an intimate adventure through the past, present, and future of a changing London.

Who knows, you might even get to take a little piece of its inspiring history back with you!"

For more information and to attend the performances, which are taking place at several times and dates in early September, visit the Facebook page here. You can also follow and join Sebastian’s performances via his Twitter and Instagram, or by using the social media hashtags #MudlarkWalks and #FlotsamTalismans.

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