With its southern most tip within sight of the city skyline on the River Thames, the valley meanders through forty to fifty miles, travelling north over urban wastelands to the rural farmlands of Bedfordshire, passing industrial estates, sports centres, allotments and housing projects. Once a busy commercial waterway, the River Lea and its companion canal became a nature reserve and leisure area and now one of the central threads in the 2012 Olympic regeneration plans.
"Adventure in the Valley" is a collaboration between Polly Braden and David Campany, who together over a period of three years documented and observed the strange beauty of the place they responded to almost intuitively and described as "intimate chaos".
Capturing the moment before its Olympic transformation, this project explores how the fixtures of a forgotten industrial wasteland merged with persistant and unfettered nature creating a tangle of the urban and rural.
Never intending their project to be a record of the pre-regeneration Olympics sites of East London, Polly and David viewed the announcement of London as the host for the 2012 Olympics as a natural conclusion to their project. But almost through serendipity "Adventure in the Valley" will nevertheless become a poetic snapshot of an area that will be changed forever.