The River Lea runs from Hertfordshire down to the Thames in East London. Once a busy commercial waterway, it is now a nature reserve and leisure area. From the grand site of the 2012 Olympic Games it passes industrial estates, sports centres, new build homes and council estates. Escape from the city; the reinvention of social spaces; the attraction of water; the meeting of different cultures; the persistence of nature.
Exploring together, Polly Braden & David Campany have photographed here for over a decade, moving between straight documentary and experimental staging. There are poetic snapshots and bizarre incidents, naturalistic portraits and fictional enactments. It’s a record of the strange nature of the place and reflection upon the nature of photography. Adventures in the Valley weaves together its motifs, building a complex description of the past, present and future of this half-forgotten thread of land.