Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Tell it to the Water | FILM

Listen to the subtle shift in accent from place to place as thirteen giant steps took us all the way along the Leeds-Liverpool canal for the final part of my project to support the Canal & River Trust's bicentenary celebrations. Tell it to the Water gave nearly four hundred people the opportunity to share their hopes and dreams for the future of the canal directly with its watery surface and depths.

The film of the messages being placed into the water can be found here; can you hear the shifting voices?

Friday, 25 November 2016

Tell it to the Water

Nearly four hundred messages were gathered from events along the Leeds-Liverpool canal, all written onto dissolving paper strips which were carefully wrapped around pieces of coal and limestone. During September 2016 they were gently placed into the watery depths of the canal.

Monday, 21 November 2016

Fort Walney Uncovered | EXHIBITION

My textile pieces in response to my residency with Art Gene for their Fort Walney Uncovered project were publicly displayed as part of an immensely rich showcase of work responding to the physical location of the Northern tip of Walney Island and the community archaeological dig and resulting research into WWI practice trenches and the firing range.

The table runner (floor display) and sandbags are all made using fabrics of war. A German Army Officer's dress trousers, a British Army trench coat woollen liner, a German army blanket and British blackout curtains; previous use and intentions unpicked and reformed to reflect on the research and dig findings.

Saturday, 18 June 2016

Ground | GROUNDED | Underground

I've started a new project this Spring, working with Canal & River Trust (CRT) along the length of the Leeds Liverpool Canal as part of their #LL200 bi-centenary celebrations and so far it seems to be revealing some interesting things about people's connection to place.

In celebration of the 200-years, CRT have been successful in gaining Heritage Lottery Funding to restore the mile markers along the canal to their original style, bringing the 127 (and a quarter) mile length of canal closer to how it would have looked in 1894 when the first Canal, Tolls and Charges Act was passed.  The document is held in the Parliamentary Archive, which I managed to have a look through in May when I visited London for the Homeless Library exhibition opening at the Houses of Parliament.

The Act is a funny read, listing all the odd and curious items of cargo that could be transported, its passing activated a significant change in the canal infrastructure with the installation of mile, half mile and quarter mile markers along the full length.  A mechanism for measurement and charging for each quarter mile section passed, the most significant cargoes transported were that of coal and limestone, and I'm using these for my this new project, Tell it to the Water which has been commissioned by CRT for 2016.

200-years is a significant milestone (forgive the pun) it feels important to stop and rest awhile, to reflect and look back on how our use of and connection to canals has changed over these last 200-years, as well as to imagine forward into future time; where will the canal be in another 200 years? What are our hopes and dreams for its future?

Tell it to the Water asks people to write their hopes and dreams onto a strip of dissolving paper, which is then glued to their chosen piece of coal or limestone.  In a linear performance during late summer 2016 these stone-wrapped messages will be given back to the canal along its length, forever immersing memories, thoughts, hopes and dreams directly with the watery depths.

So far, the most curious thing for me is whether people choose limestone, or coal - it seems to be revealing something I'd not anticipated; I'm going to be watching this carefully over the summer to see how this develops.

If you'd like to take part then come along to one of the scheduled events, and don't forget to like the Facebook page to keep informed of this exciting project . . .