Robin on Derwent Water

The piece set our out to recreate a story or scene from the abandoned Derwent village sunk beneath Rutland Water.  Looking at the idea that water can be used as a metaphor for time, and how the village was in turn held frozen by the water but also time itself. The piece was mainly outside of the studio consisting of 3 large scale prints on the wall opposite of the surface of the reservoir containing the village, a postcard on the ground floor and a telescope placed in the studio trained at the postcard. An audio track of verbal histories from the original village was played though headphones attached to the telescope.

The 4 elements amounted to a body without organs that were intended to convey a sense of nostalgia, past histories and depth.

The telescope’s usual purpose was subverted. Normally used for star gazing, instead it was used to look into the past memories of the village.  It became a time gazing device, angled down not up, seeing beneath the surface and into the memories of the old and seemingly drowned villagers.

The positioning of the post card right at the bottom of the building was an attempt to incorporate the building itself into the piece and create a visceral feeling of depth and time elapsed.

The large scale prints immediately opposite the telescope, though not viewable through it, were there to complete the story element of the piece. They were also intended as a partial comment on the MA course’s structure and content, banishing the Dusseldorf Deadpan from our minds. They also were intended to turn the studio itself into a sort of light box or some kind of large scale viewing device.

The piece suffered from poor execution and insufficiently expressed its themes. On a practical level the telescope was difficult to look though and if knocked would have to be reset in order for the visual element to work. The explanatory audio track relied upon interaction which many chose not to make use of. The large prints on the wall opposite were insufficiently large to attract any interest on there own merit and didn’t act as the introducer to the rest of the elements as hoped.

It worked neither as a sculpture in its own right as its elements were too disparate, nor as an encapsulator of some kind of village scene and I felt the interactive element lacked any encouragement for the viewer to actually interact with it.


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