For the love of the River Thames – London’s brilliant new children’s tapestry

This week saw the unveiling of an amazing new artwork in St Paul’s Cathedral, bringing a splash of colour and fun to these classic surroundings. The Thames Heritage Tapestry is a school arts project celebrating the River Thames and has involved schools all along the Thames to produce a heartwarming and beautiful work.

Each school has contributed one-metre square and they have used their imagination to depict a historical and/or up to date representation of their home area and how the Thames influences where they live. The schools are from all along the river so you can trace its full length in tapestry squares from the source in Gloucestershire, along the panels to the estuary at Southend.

We were lucky enough to have some of the children there to explain their work, as well as the Bishop and organisers of the tapestry who knew the story behind every square. It is an inclusive event with Special Needs Schools represented and I especially liked the Pearly Kings square from the East London Independent School.

You can see bridges, rowers, famous monuments, boats and of course plenty of blue water but what struck me most was the riot of colours and the almost Hockney-esque beauty of the tapestries. Most of all, the wonderful imagination and hard work from all the kids involved. Do go and see it if you can, it’s in St Paul’s until 27th September and is another good excuse to see St Paul’s – read my¬†recent blog if need any more reasons to visit!

The biggest problem was how to chose which children’s squares to put in the blog so here’s a small selection but if you want to see more click here.

One of the four panels tracing the length of the Thames

The Bishop enjoys the Pearly Kings

‘We made this’!

Mid Thames section

Around Teddington

Tales of the Riverbank!

Rowing at Henley

Houses of Parliament

The proud creators of the bottom square

A local hero

Colourful Kew (I think!)

Just like a Hockney!

Love the sheep!

The sun shines brightly in this one

All the fun of the South Bank

I’ll have to stop here but each of the 240 squares is worth a photo and stopping to hear the story behind children’s choice of images woven, stitched or stuck onto their own square.

Bye for now,

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