Germander Speedwell collects words and terminology on overlooked or unexpected subjects, and arranges these into spoken word pieces, in combinations that are packed with plosives, littered with alliteration, riddled with rhythm and resound with assonance.
For Soundings from the Estuary, Germander has been foraging on foreshores, poring over pilot maps, quizzing twitchers, apprehending historians, and intercepting the internet for information – both old and new, formal and local, and has arranged her findings in a Germanderly manner into pieces such as the following:
The Rise and Fall of the Lower Hope
The reaches and features of the Thames Estuary – its islands and inlets, settlements and sandbanks, towns and attractions; including some now lost due to erosion or human intervention, or newly created by development. Names and language both ancient and modern, formal and informal, are combined in this piece.
Sightings and Soundings
Two word pieces about avian activity in the Thames Estuary – bird life and bird sounds, and their human interpretations and descriptions. Including local bird names and nicknames, the language of birdwatchers, and the reporting of sightings.
The How, What, Where and Why of Hoo
The lesser-mentioned minutiae of this little-known peninsula. Curious details and surprising diversity of this isolated and enigmatic spur of Kent.
Loadings and Landings
Two word pieces about shipping activity in the Thames today – the curious and multifarious items conveyed, as well as the grand, evocative or curious names of the vessels that transport them, and their journeys, locally and internationally.
View PDFs of the word pieces (click on the headings to open):
The Rise and Fall of the
Reaches and features of the Thames Estuary
This piece was featured on The Guardian’s website,
together with a recording.
Click here for link.
Reports of birds, and other flighted activity, in the Thames Estuary
Shipping movements in the Thames Estuary
Text design of all the above by Stephanie Thomson
All the word pieces from the 2008 exhibition have been assembled into a booklet, together with detailed notes and explanations, available from Germander.