The River College

The River College

What do you know about the Calder River? What connections can we form between the canal, the river and the water that we consume on a daily basis? Where does the water come from and who manages it? Is it clean? Who cleans it? Who profits from it?

Join Arts Catalyst and friends for a weekend of creative games, models, water exhibits and citizen science activities at The River College tent. Together we will collectively explore water systems in the Calder Valley. With artists Ruth Levene and Kat Austen, and curators Nicola Triscott and Anna Santomauro.

Everyone welcome. Free, just drop into the River College tent!

This event forms part of Arts Catalyst’s ongoing project and inquiry Test Sites: Calder Valley. Find out more here


The River College is a participatory learning platform through which, over 2018, we aim to spark conversations around the geology, ecology, history, pollution and uses of the water system, with workshops and interactive festival stands in areas local to the Calder river catchment. Through walks, games, geological cake-baking, water testing experiments and exhibits of maps and models we hope to stimulate an exchange of ideas around water’s social, spiritual, political and environmental meanings. In tandem with these events, we are holding group meetings and interviews to gather people’s varied understandings about the Calder water system and its management.


Ruth Levene

Ruth Levene is an artist based in Sheffield, Yorkshire working in video, performance, events, digital drawings, walks, installations and participatory work. Curious and concerned by the complex systems we live by, she is currently exploring water systems, farming and market driven developments of the countryside.

Kat Austen

Kat Austen is an interdisciplinary artist, researcher and designer whose work deals with themes of environment, social justice, communities and digital culture. She creates experiences, stories and playful installations, closely mixing fact and fiction. Kat holds a PhD in chemistry from UCL and has worked as a post-doctoral research associate at the University of Cambridge.

Nicola Triscott

Dr Nicola Triscott is a curator and researcher, working at Arts Catalyst and the University of Westminster. She is interested in curating processes of co-inquiry and knowledge coproduction, through an art-centred approach and a science and technology studies perspective.

Anna Santomauro

Anna Santomauro is a curator, educator and researcher in micropolitics and socially engaged art. She is Programme Curator at Art Catalyst.

Test Sites: Calder Valley is supported by the Wellcome Trust, Canal and River Trust and Arts Council England.