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Submerged (Drowned Lands) & Sabrina Dreaming


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Antony Lysons presented at a workshop in the Netherlands, as part of the coastal twinning ‘Between The Tides’ network. (The Severn Estuary and the Waddensee are connected as part of this 2-year AHRC networking project)

The AHRC workshop was linked to a larger ‘Sense of Place’ international symposium and hosted by the Waddenacadamie

Published in: Art & Photos, Technology
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Submerged (Drowned Lands) & Sabrina Dreaming

  3. 3. Presenting work-in-progress, June 2014 Artistic research undrerway in two landscape settings - both connected to the Severn Estuary and both ‘between the tides...’ This is to give a flavour of the research processes and evolving sculptural installations Both projects involve a kind of reconnection - one primarily about people and place, the other addressing disconnection between river/estuary and floodplain issues My collaborative explorations with CCRI, Dr Iain Biggs and Professor Steve Poole are partly about developing models and methods of working with creativity and complexity in changing landscapes
  4. 4. ✴ Submerged (Drowned Lands) - A longer term project; creative eco-geo-poetic explorations of landscapes where there are dynamic and often contentious dialogues between land and water. Extending perspectives and connectivities. A weaving, tapestry. ✴ Creatively investigated through immersive sculptural installation (data-augmented spaces), sound and video. ✴ Natural and Cultural Ecosystems; the tensions within and between human and non-human realms ✴ Investigating material and intangible cultures of place, as a platform for the future ✴ Playing with time-frames and journeys
  5. 5. Also Submerged is suggestive of the hidden/obscured. Bringing to the surface from the depths.There is light and dark... Shadows and Undercurrents The creative approach is a tapestry
  6. 6. SABRINA DREAMING Severn Estuary Tidelands Artist-In-Residence at CCRI, 2014
  7. 7. These three photographs were important in the genesis of the Sabrina Dreaming (Severn EstuaryTidelands) project, representing a complex meshing of cultural pilgrimage, ecological/estuary disconnection, social resistance and social sculpture.Their essences are still strong in the process, as it moves forward.
  8. 8. Looming in the background of Sabrina Dreaming is the hydra- like Severn Barrage plan.The Angler’s Trust estimate that 25% of all salmonid spawning habitat in England and Wales lies upstream of the proposed barrage.The estuary is also a migratory route for sea lamprey, river lamprey, allis shad, twaite, shad and eel. In the Netherlands I've been told of an extraordinary project to aid fish migration.There is clearly some vital knowledge-sharing to be conducted here.
  9. 9. The fish migration river is a nature restoration project aimed at building a fish passage through the Afsluitdijk.This passage will provide a connection so that migrating fish can swim freely between theWadden Sea and the IJsselmeer.The 6-kilometre long river ensures a gradual transition from sea water to fresh water.This is better for migrating fish such as eel, which benefit from moving between theWadden Sea and the Ijsselmeer.
  10. 10. “Anticipatory Adaptation” “Stilt Life” “Occupy the Intertide” 3 Walks
  11. 11. These are some strands of a forthcoming short film, Transgression, based on three walking conversations on the estuary coast in the company of Dr Iain Biggs. We seek to interweave timescales of deep-time, ice(age)-time, human time, tide-time.The film will be part of an eco-symbolic mingling of the factual and imaginative in a sculptural installation. Selected site- specific materials serve to ground the ideas and build connection to the place. I am interested in making a connection between a 'geo' fieldwork frame of mind, and artistic research methods.
  12. 12. Eco-symbolic: mingling factual and imaginative In a sculptural installation, such materials serve to ground the ideas, and build connection to place.
  13. 13. “The land unfolds for the geologist as he passes over it, revealing an infinite number of perspectives that are integrated and contrasted in his mind....these results are built upon the intuitive use of judgement in which the geologist selects and constructs a system of signs, and blends multiple perspectives from a nearly infinite amount of potential data." Robert Frodeman
  14. 14. TRANSGRESSION ‘‘a relative rise in sea level resulting in deposition of marine strata over terrestrial strata. The sequence of sedimentary strata formed by transgressions and regressions provides information about the changes in sea level during a particular geologic time’’
  15. 15. Recently, my residency hosts - the CCRI research group - accompanied me on a fact-finding excursion along the estuary coast. One of our ports of call was to a local farmer who has had intimate experience with flooding and who is leading a grass-roots campaign for justice.
  16. 16. Another kind of grass-roots determination - and struggle - was to be found at Newnham-on-Severn where we encountered the world of traditional fishing and the efforts being made to ensure its survival in the face of many challenges.
  17. 17. An increasingly important connection for the project is found further south where the River Avon meets the estuary. Here, the Learning Ships initiative is bringing school-groups on river/tide experiential boat-trips, encountering a range of perspectives on these waters - past, present and future.These trips have been an opportunity to highlight topics such as the pre-urbanisation saltmarsh landscape and the richness of the habitat that is still to be found, but which is largely unseen. On the most recent trip, I introduced the list of the 'Top 15' fish species, with special emphasis on the impressive - and unsettling - mouth of the Lamprey.
  18. 18. Estuary (Guardian) Angels
  19. 19. Adaptation concepts
  20. 20. Another rich strand of Sabrina Dreaming relates to the bronze figurines of the 'Aust Goddess', found at the coast at Aust near Bristol, which is also the site of the slowly crumbling ferry jetty that was one the main crossing point of the estuary. As one of the outputs emerging from the project, I'm devising a performative event at a site on the coast which will re-cast the figurines.
  21. 21. Project Blog
  22. 22. Submerged (Drowned Lands) 2: Somerset Levels
  23. 23. The possibilities for Submerged (Drowned Lands) here, and now, involve a gathering-in of diverse voices, as a platform for imagined futures. In the heightened post-flooding/flood-recovery context, the pairing of a historical researcher and an environmental artist-researcher can both bypass and interweave the official channels, institutional views, local voices, campaigning voices etc.
  24. 24. The artwork installation will involve suspended micro-speakers that will present 100s of ‘voices’ - past present and future imaginings Local people as well as professionals, media reportage, historical... It will include an element of ‘way-back sounds’ All the sounds will flow as a ‘tidal wave’ to and fro, using tidal data from the River Parrett. Visitors will annotate their own words, adding to a living. morphing document...
  25. 25. 3 journeys
  26. 26. Getting up close and personal: a direct multi-sensorial contact with the materials and dynamics of the landscape, with strong echoes of historical and pre-historical being-in-this-place. In-betweeness, in a liminal space, extracting us temporarily from the empiricism of maps and strategies, and from the everyday, into a realm of timelessness...
  27. 27. Future journeys? Past journeys