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Looking ‘Through Kaleidoscope Eyes’ at super sewer site in Wandsworth

Looking ‘Through Kaleidoscope Eyes’ at super sewer site in Wandsworth

A piece of art created with the help of local schoolchildren and residents has been unveiled in a Wandsworth park as part of work on London’s super sewer.

Through Kaleidoscope Eyes, created by artist Emily Tracy with help from West Hill in the Park Children’s Centre, West Hill Primary School and local residents, features on the hoardings around Tideway’s construction site at King George’s Park in Wandsworth.

The artwork is the result of a series of workshops organised by the artist last year, where participants looked at the park through mirrors and kaleidoscopes, made collages and gathered stories and facts about the area to help create the final piece.

Construction is well underway on the Thames Tideway Tunnel, the biggest expansion to London’s sewer network since Victorian times to tackle the millions of tonnes of sewage that pours into the River Thames every year. At up to 65m deep and at 7.2m in diameter, the tunnel is the biggest infrastructure project ever undertaken by the UK water industry. 

Emily said: “This project celebrates this local park, the people that use it, the nature within it, and its history. Its plays with the human desire to find pattern, repetition and meaning in our surroundings. The Kaleidoscope was invented and manufactured exactly 200 years ago by a British scientist who realised its potential for artists and designers to create an ‘infinity of patterns’. The children and families who took part all made their own unique patterns and gave their own perspectives and contributions to the collages. I hope the local community will enjoy re looking at King Georges Park in a different light.”

The workshops included an opportunity to work with a local beekeeper, The Wandle Trust and The Garden Classroom. Following these workshops, Emily made six collages that incorporated the ideas and images from the participants.

Charles Edoh, Tideway’s Project Manager for King George’s Park, said: “King George’s Park is the heart of the community here, and it has always been a priority for us to work closely with people who use the park regularly to ensure we can be the best neighbours possible during construction. We are delighted with the artwork for the hoardings, which tell a story about the park from the perspective of the local community.”

The Tideway site at King George’s Park is being used to tunnel the Frogmore Connection Tunnel, which will connect into the west section of the main Thames Tideway Tunnel at Fulham. Work on site is currently underway to build a shaft for the arrival of a tunnel boring machine (TBM) next year.



Notes to editors:

Tideway is the independent construction company delivering London’s super sewer, the Thames Tideway Tunnel, which is a 25km sewer tunnel urgently required to tackle sewage pollution in the tidal River Thames. In total the project is creating 4,000 direct sustainable jobs. One in every 50 site jobs is an apprenticeship. Construction from 24 sites across London is due for completion by 2025*. 

The west section of the Thames Tideway Tunnel is being constructed by a joint venture of BAM Nuttall, Morgan Sindall and Balfour Beatty.

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Emily Tracy

Emily Tracy’s practice is primarily focused on social engagement and participation.

Her work aims to allow participants to re-view a familiar place through intervention or transformation of space, event, participation, spectacle, and collaboration, with simple materials such as paper.

Emily has created visual art projects for a wide range of outdoor and cultural environments with communities, schools and audiences over the last 20 years.

Emily has worked in Wandsworth on several projects giving her a connection and understanding of the borough. She has worked with Wandsworth Arts Team on a collaborative artwork for the Wandsworth Arts Festival, The Shimmy, a few years ago which included workshops at Southside Shopping Centre and with adults at community venues. She worked with the arts team and then Putney High street management team on their winter lantern procession over several years. She worked with primary schools such as Smallwood Primary, St Mary’s and Hotham to create lanterns. She also worked with families at Putney Library on drop in workshops.

This year she was Artist- in-residence at Hotham Primary school in Putney working across the whole school from Early Years to Year 6 to devise creative projects which explored the curriculum

For more information visit:

*This article has been amended to reflect the project's updated completion date following an analysis of the impacts of the pandemic.