Rust and Ripples

Lead Artist: Yvonne Roberts
Collaborators: Parise, Oliver, Jack, Shirley, Trevor

Rust and Ripples is a mini portfolio of composite photographic images, created through a collaborative process involving members of the community, a professional photographer, our natural environment and our local heritage. These contemporary images remain anchored to the historical structure of local landmarks, whilst simultaneously celebrating the rich tapestry of the ageing canal environment.

Captured within the heart of the City, Rust and Ripples connects canal, river and navigation, reflecting an era of water freight beginning and ending within two decades.  Along this stretch of water the dense urban landscape transforms into a murky rural environment where three centuries of innovation have brought prosperity and now hosts world leading zero carbon technology. Sadly, these blue spaces still fail to harness the therapeutic and educational potential that is so desperately needed amongst our most challenged and deprived communities...even more so today.


Our Work

At Canal Connections we explore the opportunities for social regeneration presented through the waterways and its environs by the innovative engagement of individuals, families, communities and organisations (corporate, statutory and voluntary) whilst enhancing the built and natural heritage of that environment. Research about the care potential of the natural environment predominates on Green Space. Research on Blue Space is largely confined to the coasts. Providing more than just a boat trip, we create interactive journeys enabling people to see urban environments, themselves, and their lives from a different perspective; a two-way conversation identifying how interaction with postindustrial waterways not only reduces stress, anxiety and mental health issues for people but leads to their increasing care for the environment. A new door opens to them and they become open to themselves becoming hydrocitizens: people being cared for by, and caring for, their environment.
Unknown: provided by Mike Clarke, President of Leeds and Liverpool Canal Society, from Leodis Photographic Archives

Canal Wharf from Victoria Bridge, 1961
The entrance to River Lock is visible at the bottom left which enabled water freight to connect East and West, putting Leeds at the centre of the Trans-Atlantic and European Trade Routes.
Yvonne Roberts

Over, Under, Through and Around,
A contemporary juxtaposition of a historically significant stretch of waterway, which passes through the vibrant City, flows secretly under the iconic Dark Arches and almost becomes lost amongst the shadows of the towering buildings around it.
Unknown - provided by David Lowe, Chair of Commercial Boat Operators Association

View from Leeds Bridge, Circa 1958
The former Leeds Docks (Dock Street) with passenger boats Water Prince, Water Princess and Water Gipsy – but for what special occasion?
Yvonne Roberts

The Rippling Heart,
A composite representation of the passing of time, where the satisfyingly serene sight of ripples flowing gracefully away from moving boats become overpoweringly symbolic of the revolutionary growth which has rippled from Leeds Bridge, in the heart of the City.

Unknown - provided by David Lowe, Chair of Commercial Boat Operators Association, 1967
Esso Terminal
The first Tanker offloading at theTerminal which was intergrated into the regeneration of Clarence Dock (now Leeds Dock). This wharf now incorporates a boaters Utility Facilities and the former Lock Keepers House, which will host Canal Connections CIC Exploration Hub.

Yvonne Roberts

From Rust to Riches,
The bold simplicity of this contemporary composite photographic image holds the value of future opportunities along the waterways. From the remnants and rust of our historical past, will emerge a bright and bountiful future.
Andy Horn

Knostrop Lock,
The effluent barge ‘Trentaire’ loading the very last water freight from the Yorkshire Water Site.
Yvonne Roberts

Night Soil,
This composite photographic image holds hope for a transformation from the murky waters of the past, to a much brighter, more affluent future, amongst post-industrial waterways.
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