Photographer explores the lives of characters on the Thames in stunning new exhibition

A new photography exhibition celebrating the people who use the River Thames every day is launching at ICE’s library, One Great George Street.

A new photography exhibition celebrating the people who use the River Thames every day is launching at ICE’s library, One Great George Street.
A new photography exhibition celebrating the people who use the River Thames every day is launching at ICE’s library, One Great George Street.

River People’, an exhibition by Wandsworth-based photographer Matthew Joseph, documents the lives of people who use the tidal river for work, leisure or travel. It features a number of images from the Superhighway Collection which look at how the Thames has become an integral part of life for residents of London.

The exhibition is supported by Tideway, the company behind the Thames Tideway Tunnel ‘super sewer’, whose civil engineers and technicians will be constructing the new sewer for the next 8 years in a bid to stop untreated sewerage overflowing into the Thames and support London’s growing population. When finished, the project will help defend the river’s natural ecology, reduce pollution and protect the health of Londoners who use the river.

Based in London but working worldwide, Matthew’s bold and vibrant style is commissioned by various clients across the advertising, corporate, editorial and music industries.

Matthew said: “Both as a photographer and as a Londoner, I have a great appreciation for the river Thames. Not only is it a hub of activity and crucial to our capital’s existence, but it also provides ever-changing inspiration for my work.

“I’m of the opinion that the river is often overlooked and undervalued by the 8.6 million inhabitants and many more commuters that exist in London. Shooting the River People series was a chance for me to humanise the waterway and expose the many varied characters that make up the collective face of the tidal Thames - hopefully increasing awareness in the process.”

Phil Stride, External Affairs Director at Tideway, said: “Matthew’s photos perfectly capture the vast amount of opportunities London’s river provides - for leisure, recreation, employment and much more. We are delighted to be supporting Matthew in launching this exhibition in central London, just around the corner from the river it celebrates.”

Nathan Baker, ICE Director of Engineering Knowledge said: “The Thames is London’s defining feature – meandering past the capital’s homes, halls of power, pillars of culture and centres of global business. Matthew’s collection reminds us that the river is enjoyed by many, and demonstrates why we must care for it for sake of future generations.

ICE Library
The River People exhibition at One Great George Street

“Delivered by a multi-disciplinary team, including civil engineers, the Tideway project will help revitalise the Thames by adding capacity to London’s straining sewerage network. River People helps cast the mind forward to the project’s completion by telling the human story of London’s intimate relationship with the river. We are delighted to be hosting such an evocative and compelling exhibition.”

It is hoped that as many Londoners as possible get to see the fascinating images to better understand just how important the River Thames is as the life blood of London. River People runs from Friday, 22 April to Friday, 10 June in the Library of ICE’s headquarters at One Great George Street, Westminster, London, SW1P 3AA. It will be open to the public free of charge, Monday to Friday from 10am to 6pm.

Explore the exihibition

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