Ripple Effect exhibition captures wellbeing among creativity

The Ripple Effect was a community-building initiative formed by Wessex Archaeology alongside the Environment Agency as part of Salisbury’s River Park Project.

Wellbeing sessions enabled participants to meet weekly on the banks of the river Avon and use creativity to connect with the past, present and future of the river.  

Salisbury Journal: Ripple Effect ProjectRipple Effect Project (Image: Wessex Archaeology)The exhibition marks the end of the wellbeing project which enabled people to slow down and to record what they noticed about the river and to view life through their own personal lens. Participants felt they were seen, heard, and valued during the sessions.

Artist James Aldridge said: “We all express creativity differently. It is about making the invisible visible and understanding what is beneath the surface.”

His role was to provide a way to bring the group together through artistic mediums and to help people record what they saw, heard or felt. 

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Salisbury Journal: Capturing the sights and sounds of the River AvonCapturing the sights and sounds of the River Avon (Image: Wessex Archaeology)Read more: National Highways fund £2million A303 green initiative

The group took the time to get to know animal and plant species helped by expert guidance and spent time walking, or simply being by the water that is an integral part of the city. By understanding the need for the construction work as part of the River Park Project, they could follow and embrace the process.

One of the favourite sessions was when watching fish being caught and removed from the river so that work could be done to remove the barriers that impact fish migration – all without harming the fish species resident in the Avon.

Salisbury Journal: The Ripple EffectThe Ripple Effect (Image: Wessex Archaeology)

Many people were unaware that Atlantic Salmon migrate through the river but saw the care taken with fish, and water voles which also needed to be be moved for safety. 

Salisbury River Park Lead, Andy Wallis said: “It was a great opportunity to get people involved and has been fantastic to help make people more aware of the river that runs through Salisbury. 

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Heritage Inclusion Manager, Leigh Chambers said: “It was about learning and wellbeing and heritage and why rivers are important now too and how to become a good ancestor.

“It was called the Ripple Effect for a reason. Friendships were created, there were beautiful experiences and creativity.

She added: “It is unusual to have a project run for two years. I will really miss it.”

The Ripple Effect exhibition can be seen in The Young Gallery at Salisbury Library until Saturday, December 16.