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I have been visiting Walthamstow Wetlands in London for the past month: watching the birds, studying where our local tap water comes from and using the area around the reservoirs as my art studio – all part of my ongoing The Rivers Project. The exhibition The Rivers Project – ‘Flow in Progress’ in Leytonstone Library (6 Church Lane, London E11 1HG), which contains a series of photographic studies and collections created on my walks there. You can see those works in three original Art Deco cabinets until 31 October.
The installation in the large cabinet is called Cormorant Island (detail above), inspired by a couple of islands in Walthamstow Wetlands. The two window cabinets include some photographs from dipping the bramble hoop (now part of Cormorant Island installation) in the reservoirs on different days, capturing those moments in time and studying light, colour and movement. Each piece included in this show has a story behind it, whether that is of making, walking, spending time outdoors or meditating. Visit Walthamstow Wetlands and see for yourself…
Exhibition dates: 13.09.2015 – 31.10.2015
13.09. 2015, 12.00 pm – 4.00 pm and then on during normal library opening times:
Monday to Friday: 9am to 7pm
Saturday: 9am to 6pm
Sunday: 12 to 4pm
Pictures from trip 4 at Walthamstow Wetlands working on The Rivers Project. Apart from the bedeguar gall (the red fluffy thing below), herons were very approachable this time to my surprise. I was thrilled to have used my binoculars for the first time, too! It was truly one of the exceptional days.
Image below: Diplolepis rosae is not a lichen which I thought first. It’s an insect nest. Who would have thought? Read more about it here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diplolepis_rosae
The Rivers Project continues and this time I’m focusing my energy on a local place, oppose to one abroad in Slovakia. This new body of small scale works will be exhibited in a very local event too. The Leytonstone Library has been closed for a while, but it’s due to reopen with a big launch on Saturday 12th September. Once it’s open, my works will be on display for about a month, details are to be seen. I have no time to spare to be ready on time! Come and walk with me! And of course, please join us at the big opening in Leytonstone, if you are around! The series begins…
Here I am :
You can listen to my sound notes from the third visit in Walthamstow Wetlands on recorded on 16th August 2015. This is best to listen if you need to relax or just escape for a while. No rushing there but simple explorations. The notes are unedited and leave about 20 min to hear it in full. When I refer to a bird family of Bitterns, now I know they were Moots actually!
This is a report I wrote for The UAL Postgraduate Community newsletter and blog. You can also read it directly in a slightly edited version here.
I wanted to just get a feel for such a place. My recent, The Rivers Project was my excuse to talk with the brainy scientists and listen to their “foreign” language. I explained why I was there and that I hoped to find a collaborator, to gain an insight to what’s hiding in a riverbed of a river I was studying at the time. When I failed to define a precise reason why I needed the microscopy to help me to progress my work, then I saw an exhibitor from France, a company called Digital Surf. You know that feeling when you can finally visualize your idea? Talking with them, ever so friendly as all the exhibitors, I knew this company might be helpful. We exchanged our business cards and now after a couple of emails, there seems to be a great chance we will collaborate on The Rivers Project with their software. But even, if this doesn’t work out, the approachable attitude of the scientists there and all the thought-provoking chats we had, individually, or the whole group of us from UAL, was definitely worth it!
When I saw a public call for stallholders at #TransActing: A Market of Values by Critical Practice, I thought it looked like a very unusual event. It wasn’t an art fair, nor an exhibition, it wasn’t a normal market either. A new concept of re-evaluating, transacting, exchanging, and giving sounded like something I’d love to engage with.
You can read about the thrill of being chosen to participate at TransActing in my previous blog here.
I’d like to say a big thank you to Joey O’Gorman, Research Affiliate, MA Art and Science at CSM, UAL. Joey introduced me to a social scientist, geographer Richard Bater with whom I collaborated during the #TransActing: A Market of Values event. Richard’s work focuses on (as he described it) “research and the intersection of scientific (watery) knowledge and artistic interventions, so he very much approaches water less from a natural scientific perspective than from a shape-shifting transdisciplinarian one (undergirded by anthropology)”. Compared to Richard’s, my interest lies in rivers and water more from an angle of sculpting, art, and physical geography. I find movements of sediments, fluvial forms and processes inspiring and fascinating. I look at them as a metaphor to artist sculpting, building objects. (Question of conscious sculpting and process comes up at this point).
Our stall named The Rivers Project was painted white and The Flowing Roots sculpture grew right through it. The aim for this one-day collaboration between Richard and I was to create discussions about rivers, water, and ecology. We traded water for words into our Water Word Harvest. We asked two questions. What does water mean to you? Do you have your own nature, a place where you go to relax outdoors? Thank you to all people who engaged with our stall! Thank you for the debates and chats. They were indeed very inspiring, interesting, and useful.
What’s next for The Rivers Projects? Richard and I will work together again and I’m beginning to write a dissertation, which will be drip-fed by the Water Word Harvest, critical thinking, evaluation, and partly by amazing River Thames cartoons by John Leech (1817–1864), who was an English caricaturist and illustrator. Check out this amazing piece on Wikipedia.
I have one regret looking back at the event. 60+ amazing stallholders had lots to offer and engage with. We were in our water-bubble all day and didn’t have enough time to speak to all the others. Just look at the variety of projects on the day here.
TransActing happened on Saturday July 11, 2015, 12 – 5 pm, at Rootstein Hopkins Parade Ground, located between Tate Britain and Chelsea College of Arts. Thank you to Critical Practice, who organized it! Check out this photo to see the stalls on the day from high above.