The aim of the hidden ecologies theme is to connect people with some of the hidden or invisible aspects of their local environment, with a main focus on one species - the eel.
Along with our partners at Sustainable Eel Group, we are using creative methods to explore the past, present and future of eels and other species in the River Avon and tributaries.
Inspired by both the existing Spawn to be Wild project and the idea of animals being represented by human voices (as in the Aardman creation Creature Comforts) we set out to run workshops with the children of Victoria Park School in Bedminster, and to collaboratively produce a short animated film featuring the drawings and voices of the Year 4 pupils we worked with.
We have also been gathering stories of eel-human interactions from the past and present from archives and using these to build up a picture of the histories of eels in the area. This informed the schools workshops, our own understanding, and other outputs.
A series of workshops were held in the school. during which the voices of the children were recorded, and they spent time drawing eels at different life-stages. Together we explored the subject of the hidden underwater wildlife of the local River Avon. Water City Bristol's wonderful animator, Lucy Izzard, along with a small team, turned into a delightful film which you can view below. We hope you enjoy it and do send us feedback if you use this in classrooms or elsewhere.