Our 2021 Artists

Jessie Russell Donn, a London-based artist and teacher, will present Lillith. This audio-visual piece is shot and recorded in the Woolwich foot tunnel, which runs underneath the River Thames, and is inspired by the Biblical story of Adam’s first wife Eve. The recording of live singers performing this fascinating work in the tunnel will be made available online. Multidisciplinary designer Sean T. Ross will present Tea from the Thames, a visceral litmus test to check the health of the river since its recovery after being declared biologically dead in 1957. Ross will produce a Victorian tea set out of River Thames clay, using river water to create a cup of Thames Tea. In the offing, the sea and the sky were welded is a project produced by young visual artist Sonam Tobgyal, exploring the notion of human transition and using the River Thames as the focal point. Tobgyal’s solargraphs capture both static and developing locations along the Thames, illustrating how the juxtaposing ideas of change and tranquillity can serve as spaces for solace and hopefulness.

Portrait of a woman with glasses and a scarf

Jessie Russell Donn

Jessie Russell Donn is a London based artist and teacher. Her most recent work ‘Senga’s Dream Folder’ is named after her sister. This project began with the discovery of some images of her mother’s body, taken during an MRI scan. They acted as the point of departure for a piece that explores grief, loss, and family. Jessie is currently working on a project that incorporates pressed flowers and pathological slides. She aims to make work that is affective. 

Tide Changers 2021 | Jessie Russell Donn
A portrait of a man with a white t-shirt on.
Tide Changers 2021 | Sean T Ross

Sean T Ross

I’m a multi-disciplinary designer interested in exploring the intersection of nature and technology and how we can create a symbiotic relationship between the two. Within my work I look at emerging scientific developments and, using design as a tool, create sustainable interventions that stimulate conversation, and even ignite action, around how we can build a brighter future. I situate my work between the realms of the applied and the speculative to create pieces that have real world applications as well as push the boundaries of what our material future could be. I draw inspiration from heritage craft techniques as well as modern forms of digital fabrication to reinvent historic technologies and to push at the frontier of our material world.



Red clay tea set on a white backdround

Tea from the Thames

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A portrait of a man with a beanie, goaty beard and hoddie.

Sonam Tobgyal

Sonam Tobgyal is an English and Bhutanese artist based in London.

Graduating with a 1st in documentary photography and photojournalism from University of the Arts London, Sonam’s work primarily takes socio-political themes and illustrates these through his intimate approach; often attempting to work closely with individuals or small groups. Simultaneously, Sonam utilises alternative process photography, taking functionally redundant methods and re-introducing them to contemporary stories playing with the notion of conventional documentary photography.

Sonam has exhibited his work as a member of collective Portrait of Our Times and as a younger artist worked with Whitechapel Gallery’s youth collective Duchamp and Sons creating content. From July to August 2020, he co-curated the exhibition, Home: Live> In Room currently on display at Whitechapel Gallery. His work has been featured in Vice Magazine, Source Magazine and Splash & Grab. 



Tide Changers 2021 | Sonam Tobgyal
Image taken at Coalhouse Fort, Tilbury, Capturing the movement of the Sun through the sky over the course of 5 weeks

In the Offing, the Sea & Sky Were Welded

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Backlit photo negatives

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Sing for Water

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Thames Lens

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Tide Changers

Tide Changers is a development programme that provides early career artists under 30 with support to shape, develop and deliver their River Thames projects, with seed funding, marketing and development sessions. Following an extremely difficult 18 months in the creative industries, Tide Changers sees young artists provided with vital support at this important stage of their professional development.

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Totally Thames

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Taking place at dusk on Saturday 24 September 2022, the Reflections flotilla is a tribute by the river community marking the passing of Her Majesty the Queen and the accession of King Charles III. As the boats glide peacefully by, it will allow those viewing to remember the past and think positively about the future. The event will raise up to £20,000 for the RNLI, supporting the construction of a new lifeboat station at Waterloo Bridge.The illuminated…

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