Pixel River

Art on the River Dearne

Pixel River

In 2017 Patrick was commissioned by Dearne Valley Landscape Partnership to be an artist in residence highlighting the significance of the River Dearne and how it has shaped the people and landscape over centuries. The river is at the heart of the Dearne Valley but is often overlooked and forgotten. The residency aimed to raise awareness of the river, where it comes from, where it goes and the impact on the landscape.

For this project Patrick created a series of temporary art interventions that made the River Dearne more visible within its landscape. These interventions also provided a way to engage with community members and groups to begin to unearth a multitude of other stories, people’s thoughts and memories about the river. The interventions themselves were deliberately provocative in nature and aimed to instigate a change in people’s attitudes towards the Dearne or at least remind them of its presence.

The images below were created on site in real time and photographed using long exposures to capture the image. The images show abstract coloured ribbons of light reflected in the actual river and digital artworks of wildlife that can be found in this landscape. These artworks were created by programming a digital light sequencer to project the images into the actual landscape, this enables true reflections in the water to be recorded. The photographs below were shot onsite in collaboration with Anton Want.

From pollution to conservation

The location is RSPB Old Moor which is a 250-acre wetlands nature reserve in Barnsley, run by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds. The centre boasts up to 8,000 golden plovers and 2,000 lapwings and a wide variety of species include Bitterns, coots and year-round wildfowl. Patrick worked closely with the centre in planning this art intervention and researched and created digital studies of a wide range of birds for the project. This stage of the project connected with the vast array of wildlife the river supports, and touches on the fascinating fact that salmon were found in River Dearne for the first time in over 150 years in what was once part of Britain’s most polluted river systems. Read more here


Commission: River Dearne
Place: RSPB Dearne Valley
Year: 2017
Activity: Public Art Intervention

Above images show abstract ribbons of light shot next to the large ponds that are fed by the River Dearne.

 Patrick’s artwork showing the annual Canadian geese migration to Old Moor.
 This was shot in the landscape enabling the subtle lighting and reflections from the light source.

 Artworks featuring an Egret and Salmon were created to project next to the water.
 Salmon can now be found in the River Dearne illustrating the work done to clean up the river

During the residency at Old Moor Rspb, Patrick produced drawings and sketches of the wildlife living on the river.
These informed the final projections and provided a chance to work alongside the Old Moor community.