Dive into our 2017 Rivers of the World artwork

​Nepal Celebration Co-Ed School, Kathmandu with Kailash K Shrestha

It's World Rivers Day! Rivers of the World is the Thames Festival Trust's flagship art education programme that has worked in twenty eight countries around the world. The programme encourages secondary school students to learn about their river and a river in a partner country. Through workshops run by professional artists, students create a large scale artwork which is exhibited in their city and partner city. 

What better way to celebrate the amazing rivers across the world than looking at some of this year's art works inspired by rivers from Ethiopia, Vietnam, Zambia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Nepal and the UK. 

Nepal Celebration Co-Ed School, Kathmandu, Nepal with Kailash K Shrestha

This artwork was inspired by pollution in the student's local river. The Bagmati River is highly polluted, and students wanted to raise awareness of how much harm is being done to aquatic life, and how important it is to preserve nature.

Times' Choice Academy, Ethiopia with Martha Hardy

This artwork is inspired by the rich feeding ground surrounding Two Tree Island by Southend-on-Sea, where their partner school is, and feeds migratory birds for their annual migration to Africa - and possibly end up in Times' Choice's garden in winter! To celebrate this amazing connection, students worked with artist Martha Hardy to create stencils of birds in a flock shaped as a moon crescent.   

UCL Academy, London with Shona Watt

Students learnt about the custom of votive offerings as an act of worship in Vietnam - whereby people make offerings of objects that could be useful in the afterlife to deceased relatives. They were guided by Rivers of the World lead artist Shona Watt in workshops to create this Kaleidoscopic image. 

Grace High School, Lagos, Nigera with Polly Alikija

Many communities on the fringes of Lagos live on settlements built on stilts. Guided by British muralist Polly Alikija, students created cardboard floating villages, with a model of a floating school designed by architect Kunle Adeyemi.

Luong The Vinh Secondary School, Hanoi, Vietnam with artist Giang Nquyen Hoang

The students chose the Thames Barrier as inspiration for their final artworks - watching documentaries of the barrier, its functions and designs, learning how were it not for the barrier, London would be flooded on a daily basis! This featured in their main design, which they created with the guidance of artist Giang Nguyen Hoang.

Albert Academy Secondary  School, Freetown, Sierra Leone with Barmmy Boy

This artwork depicts different masks from Sierra Leone, each representing ethnic groups and secret societies which use the river to perform their ceremonies.

Malundu School, Kafue, Zambia with Kenneth Zenzele Chulu

With artist Kenneth Zenzele Chulu, students looked to the colours blue and green, and how they could symbolise hope and survival, and how nature having the ability to heal and bring their highly polluted local river back to life.

> You can catch the Rivers of the World artwork as part of Totally Thames exhibited at City Hall until Fri 29 Sep and on riverside pathways by the Tate Modern, National Theatre and More London until Sat 30 Sep.