Prints and film made by the New River
The New River has been living and working in London since 1613, often in obscurity hidden beneath North London housing developments. With work spanning 28 miles and 409 years, the New River explores the landscape between Chadwell Springs in Hertfordshire and New River Head in Islington.
Their major body of work is water, but they enjoy eroding 16mm film and playing with cameraless photography in collaboration with the sun. This is the New River’s first series of prints and film, made in 2021 with assistance from Laura Copsey and Philip Crewe.
This work was created as part of a residency project by Laura Copsey and Philip Crewe in 2021. They left 16mm film and photographic paper in the New River on the summer solstice, the day of the year with the most sunlight. They collected it three months later, on the autumn equinox. The materials had had eroded, reacted to light and water and collected traces of matter creating intricate marks.
Laura Copsey is an experimental illustrator from East Anglia and Philip Crewe is a designer from the Isle of Wight. They are a collaborative duo with a playful approach to illustration and storytelling. Their work is inspired by archaeological fieldwork and explores traces of human endeavour from history, heritage locations, traditional trades and museum collections. Laura and Philip inhabit the the grey area between what is real and imagined using processes that connect them to time and place, to communicate their experience and the narratives they excavate.Film and images © Laura Copsey and Philip Crewe
Our residency programme invites illustrators to explore heritage and is generously supported by the Barbara and Philip Denny Trust.