Silk River

2017 is the 70th anniversary of India’s independence from Britain. This year will see a host of events celebrating and exploring our cultural ties with India, and Silk River is one of these events.

Kinetika, an arts organisation based in Purfleet, is undertaking a project to highlight the history of the silk trade routes from India to London, with the Thames river channel being a key route.

Kinetika have invited 10 towns situated along the river Thames to take part in this project and Dartford is one of these. Each town is ‘twinned’ with a corresponding town in India – Dartford’s twin town is Howrah. The aim of the project is to create a set of large (6m long) banners – painted with wax, and made of silk (referencing the silk trade). These banners will then be walked through the town at an event in September this year. Kinetika are walking through each town involved in the project and so linking the independent events in each town to create one larger overall event. They will be doing a parallel walk along the Hooghly River in India.

Each town is asked to select some ‘lead artists’ – these artists are responsible for producing design concepts for the production of the banner.

During the first week in June these lead artists will take concept designs to the Kinetika studio in Purfleet and produce together the banners which will be used in the walk in September.

Dartford is a key town in the project. We have agreed to produce banners and host a walk in September.

The lead artists from Dartford are DAN Chair Kate Withstandley and What If Gallery director & DAN Member Ruth Howard. They will be organising and hosting two workshops at the What If Gallery on 31st May 7 – 9.30pm, where local artists are invited to come along to produce sketch deigns to be incorporated into the final banners. Check out the blog for more details as the project progresses.

For more information on how to participate please email hello@dartfordartsnetwork.com

Arts and Culture in Dartford