Outfalls Workshop

Saturday 7th & Sunday 8th July 11am-4pm

Navigation Trust, Riverhead Rd, Louth LN11 0DA

OUTFALLS: image text, memory along the Louth Canal

At the Louth Navigation Trust, 7-8 July 2018

During the weekend of 7-8 July from 11.00-4.00pm you can see a taster of some of the creative work being carried out by artist Judith Tucker and poet Harriet Tarlo on the Louth Canal. Over the last five years they have developed a great interest in North East Lincolnshire and their latest project focuses on the natural and unnatural features of the Louth Canal, as well as its past, present and future.

Judith and Harriet will be down at the Navigation Warehouse with some examples of their drawings and poems on display. They are keen to incorporate your memories and opinions about the canal into their work so invite you to come and talk, fill in memory cards and being any mementoes/photographs connected to the Louth Navigation. These will feed into a final exhibition of work at the Louth Navigation Trust in the Autumn.

Saturday 7 July 4.00pm-5.30pm

Lines of Navigation: illustrated talk by the artists on their working processes and poetry reading from Outfalls. All welcome and plenty of time for questions.


Sunday 8 July 2.30-5.30pm:

Navigating with images and texts: artist-led walking/writing/drawing workshop along the canal.

All welcome to find inspiration in this fascinating place.

All materials provided and no experience necessary.

Free but limited numbers so please register with 01507 605496

See more and to get in touch.


General Information about the Outfalls project

Outfalls is a collaboration between two artists, Judith Tucker (visual artist) and Harriet Tarlo (poet), drawing on thirty years of experience of working with landscape in their respective fields. In our exhibitions and books we explore how the practice of drawing in relation to poetry might be employed in an affective understanding of place. Over the last five years we have developed considerable interest in North East Lincolnshire as a place of beauty, but also as one that invites questions about what is natural, and what is unnatural. The Outfalls project, focusing on the Louth Canal, developed from our work on the HumberstonFitties (see www.projectfitties,com) and indeed our interest in the canal was first sparked by encountering its outfall at Tetney Haven on the Humber Estuary.

The first iteration of this work was commissioned by Linda Ingham for an Arts Council funded collaborative show entitled Neverends and shown at the Grimsby Heritage Centre in the 2016. We continue to make new work on the canal and to show Outfalls in a range of locations including Sheffield, Barton-on-Humber, Kings Lynn and London (see exhibitions and events) and, subsequent to discussions with the Louth Navigation Trust, plan to engage further with local people over the Spring and Summer of 2018 and to mount an exhibition at the Louth Navigation Warehouse in the Autumn of 2018.

The Louth Canal or Navigation was constructed between 1765 and 1770 and runs for just over eleven miles between Louth and Tetney Haven. Like many rural canals, the Navigation began to decline towards the end of the Nineteenth Century as roads and railways were developed. The final straw was the devastating flood at Louth in 1920, an event for which the town is known. In 1924 the canal closed and began to fall into slow dereliction. Our work walking, drawing and writing along the canal, together with our subsequent research, is not to be nostalgic or didactic but to reflect what we find there. As always, at any moment, there is much that is evident and much that is hidden: the many outfalls and inter-changes of water; crossings of energy lines; seasonal changes in plant life; historical remnants of industrial infrastructure; the ghost of lost buildings and communities as well as current life and work along the Navigation and evidence of birds and animals (often only in traces) creating homes in and amongst the old culverts, bridges and locks.

We explore not only the visual and textual potential of this place, but also the past, present and possible futures of the Navigation. This raises questions repeated all around the country about what will happen to these relics of our industrial heritage and surrounding landscape? The Louth Navigation Trust campaigns for the restoration and re-opening of the waterway and works to give cultural and actual access to the canal. How would potential restoration affect the canal, which is described in the 2006 feasibility project for the restoration of the canal as “slowly reverting to a more semi-natural state since the navigation closed”? How much and what kind of intervention is desirable? We hope that our work will help generate discussion around these questions.