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Thames Log by British photographer & film-maker Chloe Dewe Mathews examines the ever-changing nature of our relationship to water, from ancient pagan festivities through to the rituals of modern life.
Dewe Mathews spent five years photographing up and down the River Thames, from its puddling source to its great estuarial mouth. She focuses her attention on lives that overlap with the river but whose activities often go unnoticed, like ship-spotters, who log the continual stream of vessels that pass through Tilbury, and mudlarks, who comb the city sludge for Roman and Saxon treasure. Above the tidal Thames, which transforms the landscape twice daily, the young river meanders gently through the verdant countryside. There, Dewe Mathews encounters neopagan rituals, eccentric coracle builders, and the custodians of royal swans. Far from holding a fixed identity, the Thames becomes a protagonist in a series of ceremonies and practices that flow seamlessly downstream, from boat burning in Oxford to evening prayer in Southend; from mass baptisms to teenage rites of passage. Despite its status as one of the most iconic and well-documented rivers in the world, the Thames documented by Dewe Mathews invites you to look beyond more