Estuary is a festival developed by Metal and Cement Fields as a cultural celebration of the spectacular Thames Estuary region across both the north and south shorelines and on the river itself.
The Water Replies invites people from across South Essex and North Kent to get involved in creating a collective response to what life is like living and working by the great and spectacular river that is the Thames Estuary.
Over 400 journals have been sent out through the lockdown period, inviting creative responses from people of all ages.
Past artist in residence Lisa Stone shares her experience as a participant of The Water Replies, an ongoing project as part of Estuary 2021.
Lisa Stone has enjoyed a successful career as a photographer, working in
the field of music & lifestyle. She has photographed many advertising
campaigns, including the award winning campaign for Mazda & an
acclaimed global campaign for Vodafone in which she collaborated with
fellow photographer Rankin, as well as producing work for clients which
include Jaguar, PlayStation, Boots & Marks & Spencer to name a few.
Her work within the Music Industry regularly took her to Ibiza, New York & Miami where she shot the annual Winter Music Conference for many
consecutive years. Her work was regularly featured on all of the music
magazines both in the UK & abroad, as well as shooting multiple album
covers, billboards & live sets for many of the great musicians & artists of our time, both in the Pop & House music genres. Her personal favourites to
shoot were David Bowie, Macy Gray, Carl Cox, Fat Boy Slim & Sacha.
Lisa has had three London exhibitions of her photographs, one of these was at the Proud Gallery & one was a collaborative exhibition.
Recently Lisa decided to take a break from her photography career in order
to focus her attention on another passion of hers, writing. She left the UK to
indulge in her love of travel whilst simultaneously beginning to construct &
write her first novel, a fantasy fairytale, which is the first in a planned series.
To view a selection of Lisa’s work go to her instagram: @lisastoneuk
To contact her email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Upon returning to her home county, Essex, Lisa submitted an extract of her
novel, which earned a residency at Metal Southend, based in Chalkwell Hall, prior to lockdown. During this time she was able to complete the first draft of her novel. Lisa fell in love with Chalkwell Hall & prompted by a call out from Estuary 2021, whilst in residence, she produced a creative journal, documenting not only the inspirational time that she spent in residence but also her time in self isolation due to the restrictions of the Coronavirus pandemic, once the residency had ended. In this journal Lisa was able to let her creativity run free bringing together many outlets of her expression, from writing & poetry to painting & collage, as well as featuring some of her photographs, showcasing her scope as a mixed media creative.
This journal will be exhibited en masse with others, as part of Estuary 2021 which will run between 22 May to 13 June 2021.
In her blog, Lisa shares a small selection of some the pages of her journal.
I completed my writers residency at Metal Southend just before the
lockdown began & when the self isolation measures were imposed. To have
this precious time in such an inspiring and open setting was such a gift &
allowed me to dedicate myself & my time to writing & completing the first
draft of my forthcoming novel.
I fell in love with Chalkwell Hall & its surroundings & I am sure that its
enchanting character added to the magic that was flowing from me & onto
the pages of my fantasy fairytale.
During my residency, I was invited to attend a workshop which was taking
place at the Hall. This was my introduction to the Estuary 2021 Festival
which will take place between 22 May to 13 June 2021. I was encouraged to
take part in compiling a creative journal to illustrate my life living by the
estuary. This idea really appealed to me as I have kept a journal ever since I
was a young child, however the focus of these journals to date, were to have a written record of my experiences, thoughts & feelings, whereas in this project we were prompted to express ourselves in our journal in any way that we chose.
I was able to combine my passion for writing, photography & art together, to make a highly personal & totally unique record of my experience. The duration that the creative journal spanned included my time in residence & stretched way beyond this to document my own journey throughout
lockdown, until the hand in date on 1 August 2020 when many of the
restrictions began to be lifted.
My fascination with Chalkwell Hall & Chalkwell Park was poured into the
pages. I researched into its history & shared my findings through art. Below
are some of my creative journal pages on this topic. This first collage depicts my findings of historical facts that were presented in a booklet by Rachel Lichtenstein, the following pages show the excerpts from the booklet which really caught my interest & imagination & which correspond to the collage.
Upon finding photos of the old bandstand that once stood in Chalkwell Park,
I imagined the music, the instruments & the gatherings that may have taken place. My thoughts naturally turned to my Grandad, Fred Ford ,who was a musician. He played in bands throughout his life, which is how he met my Nan, Grace Ford, as she was dancing to his band in a dancehall. He also played in the army band in the 2nd World War.
My Mum has kept my Grandad’s old sheet music in the attic, there are two
suit cases full! They were all so beautiful that I could not bring myself to cut one up, however there was on called ‘I’m still in love with you’ that was
ripped in several places & so I used this as my background & decided to do
the collage in memory of my Grandad. Whenever I see a rainbow I feel like
my ancestors are with me so it was very apt that I painted one in my tribute.
I sketched the bandstand & then shaded with black water colour paint. Then added the cut out brass instruments that were generally played in bandstands. The finishing touches were a beautiful, green, tactile, lace as the grass, trees from spring & autumn to reference eternity, daffodils for new life & birds for freedom. I have titled the collage ‘Music in the air.’
I became interested in a sign that is hanging on the top floor of Chalkwell
Hall. After some investigation I found out that it was an imagined pub sign
dreamt up by artist Milly Peck. I contacted her to learn that she had made a
series of four signs for Chalkwell Park which were an amalgamation of pub
signs in the local area of Southend or were imagined designs drawing on
I was so inspired by the idea that I decided to create my own imagined pub
sign. The watercolour I created is an amalgamation of some well known pubs that have existed in the area, The Crown, The Monks, The Castle, The
Spread Eagle & the Red Lion which is depicted as the figure head of a ship,
which ties in well with the estuary which I have painted at the bottom of the sign.
With the water at the forefront of my mind I imagined what I might call a pub in the Southend area & arrived at ‘A Mermaids Tale’, a play on words. I made her tail really long to draw attention to it. She is connected to nature her hair entwined with the sky, she is part of the sea & here I depicted her steadying a ship in the turbulent waves & setting it on a safe path. As a goddess of the sea she has witnessed so much & has many stories she could tell.
I then imagined a mermaid falling in love with a sailor & being bound to his heart.
Living in Chalkwell Hall gave me the opportunity to view the ever changing
sky over the estuary through the tall sash windows. Every day I was amazed at just how much it changed from one moment to the next, so I decided to paint the sky at different times during the same day. The first four watercolour paintings on the double pages are from the various windows in Chalkwell Hall & the last one of the sunset, I painted from one of the outside tables of The Peterboat pub in Old Leigh.
I am interested in the architecture in the area & photographed random
buildings & dwellings that caught my eye, then later sketched them in my
The time that my journal expanded over included the unprecedented self
isolation period, which I responded to within its pages & also various
celebrated dates. Here is one example of how I shared my insight into
International Women’s Day 2020.
Throughout my creative journal I used mixed media to convey & express my experience during an extremely unusual time.
I have created a section which is interactive for the viewer, whereby they can arrange my art in various ways to create different outcomes. I have also used fabric & texture on many of the pages to create tangible, tactile pieces partly inspired by artist Wendy Daws online workshops during lockdown, in collaboration with Metal Southend & Cement Fields, whereby she
demonstrated how she creates art for the blind.
After previously spending so long with my head wrapped around words &
language whilst working on my novel, the time that I spent creating my journal was a most welcome break & has left me eager to return to the written word whilst I embark on the second draft of my novel.
To hear more about its progress or to view further artwork please feel free to contact me via the contact info in my bio below.
Alternatively I would love for you to see the rest of my journal at Estuary 2021. I hope to see you there!