A Watery ‘We’

Final Exhibition & Symposium, Royal College of Art

The feed trough is the main element of this installation. I have filled it with the Ladies Pond water, which is the object of my research. The PVC transparent tubes, attached to the water pump and arranged around the feed trough, embody the ‘Bodies of Water’ philosophical concept found in Hydrofeminism, where we are all (human beings, animals, plants) related to one another through our fluids, which communicate organically (blood, sweat, rain). The Water is not stagnating in the trough, it flows and comes back to its main body. It is constantly moving.

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The vine plants are located on each corner of the trough, supported by metal wires to make them almost immobile, acting as organic borders just like the trees and bushes around the Ladies Pond, which make this space a ‘sacred sanctuary’ for so many swimmers.

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After collecting many organic elements around the Heath (such as grass, leaves, soil, moss, branches), I applied the ‘eco-printing’ process to two massive pieces of cotton fabric. I rolled each of them tightly with the plants stuffed inside and left them in the Pond water overnight. I waited for them to dry in the sun: they started to show interesting patterns, some forms of natural dyeing, the footprint of each elements. I hung them on two pillars, making them phallic guardians of my installation, just like the black metal gates and the City of London Corporation intrusive (and manly) presence in the Pond management.

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For the sound piece, I recorded my own journey to the Pond: the showers, the laughter, the splashes… I inserted twelve excerpts of conversations overheard at the Pond, some of them are even quite challenging to hear. The speakers were hidden by real wet moss, which gave again a strong ‘foresty’ smell to the installation.

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First Photograph: Sotiris Gonis.