Water Rising – art innovation, change and development.

May 17 2019

Held at Thoresby College, Queen St, PE30 1HX, May 17, 2019, 10.30 – 6.00

 Thoresby College, Queen St, PE30 1HX

Water Rising community engagement events were supported by Anglian Water’s Keep It Clear Campaign.

Water Rising – art innovation change and development. Programme

Globally and locally we face a changing relationship with water. We know that sea level rise is accelerating, predicted to gain steadily by up to a metre over the 21st century, enough for example, for London to become submerged.  Science and technical know-how is being crucially engaged and architects, engineers, planners and environment agencies are busy forming strategies to mitigate its dangers and come up with creative solutions. 

However, as many recognise, these developments need to be accompanied by cultural change and adaptation to new sustainable patterns of life. Interpretations by artists are are part of the formation of new cultural responses. Being acute observers of change, many are thinking creatively about direct encounters with water, proposing images about experiences, raising questions about its beauty and power. 

As the need for greater understanding of water’s future becomes more urgent, we need to bring together multiple perspectives to make new propositions about the resourcefulness we need as we form new and different attitudes to it.  Without this the watery surges of climate change will still defeat us.

The conference-study day will bring together perspectives from art, science, geography, engineering, architecture, cultural development.   The idea is to stimulate discussion, and for participants and audience to contribute to the richer dialogues that will result

Speakers include:

Clive Adams, Founder-Director Centre for Contemporary Art and the Natural World

Speaking on CCANW’s work with UNESCO’s new Global Network of Water Museums.

From being a curator at Arnolfini/Bristol in the 1970s, Clive Adams had a particular interest in artists, ranging from Richard Long to JMW Turner, whose work engaged with landscape. He founded CCANW in 2001 with the idea of using the arts to inspire a deeper understanding of our responsibilities within nature.

CCANW operated from a Project Space in a forest near Exeter from 2006-15 with a programme which attracted around 40,000 visitors annually. Between 2014-16 it delivered its ‘Soil Culture’ programme of artist residencies and exhibitions across the South West, and since then has been developing a number of new international and transdisciplinary partnerships.

One of these has involved advising the new Global Network of Water Museums, now part of the UNESCO family. This came about through a chance meeting in Venice in 2016, and was followed by presentations Clive, along with other artists and curators, have made to the 80+ strong membership in Venice and the Netherlands. A next international conference will take place in Valencia this June.

His talk will show how artists are addressing the serious ‘water issues’ that face us today, and how the involvement of artists through residencies and exhibitions can engage people in ways that complement the work of science and conventional education.on the recently UNESCO accredited world network of water museums, 

Richard Coutts, BACA architects,

Innovative architecture for watery environments; 

Richard Coutts co-founded Baca in 2003. Richard is a Chartered Architect with over 15 years experience. With a Master’s degree in daylighting and PV technology from Sheffield University, he is particularly interested in renewable energy, sustainability and low carbon design. He has directed large high profile projects such as the Eiland Veur Lent in Nijmegen – a new ‘eco-leisure’ destination in The Netherlands; the Waterspace Strategy for UNESCO World Heritage Site – Liverpool South Docks and an array of high quality one-off architectural projects for private clients. Richard has also designed several unique memorials for Her Majesty’s Royal Marines and is a professional illustrator. He formerly worked for Sir Terry Farrell & Partners and Dr. Ken Yeang in Malaysia and Australia, including working as resident site architect for the Guthrie Pavilion – Winner of Aga Kahn Best Building in Asia 2000

Jack Heslop WSP,

Rising water problems and creative engineering solutions:

In this talk I will break down the latest projections for sea level rise nationally and locally; and explore some long term pathways for coastal communities coping with change. I’ll present case studies from the UK and internationally on the challenges faced by coastal communities and how they’re dealing with a rising sea and increasing flood risk. It will cover the potential futures of King’s Lynn in the context of long term coastal management strategies

Jaap van der Salm, H+N+S Landscape Architects,

on flood resilience, safety and water management projects in Netherlands and beyond;

Jaap van der Salm studied Landscape architecture at Wageningen University and obtained his master’s degree in 2010. Since 2010 Jaap has worked as a landscape architect for H+N+S, one of the two largest specialist design companies in the Netherlands. He focuses mainly on large scale water related national and international projects. Jaap combines solutions for flood safety with ecological, recreational and urban development. He has further developed integrated design skills in a number of international projects, among others, in Turkey and the United States and likes to cooperate in multidisciplinary teams with both Dutch and foreign professionals. Jaap has won several design competitions: ‘New impetus for neighbourhoods from the 70s and 80s in The Hague in 2011 and the redevelopment of the former Polaroid ‘performance factory’ in Enschede in 2013.

Peter Matthews, artist & exhibitor,

Matthews lives his work, the shore and oceans are his studios. He often enters the water at dawn and may stay immersed until nightfall, and effectively “lets the ocean do the work for him”; sometimes the work is left exposed to the elements and tides overnight in which the piece continues its natural development. Matthews has described himself as merely being the “instrument” by which the sea “draw[s] itself.”

Roger Coulam, artist-photographer & exhibitor,

Until 2007 Coulam had a distinguished career as a storm-chasing photographer, working around the world, sometimes taking guided tours for the benefit of other photographers. Now he is based largely in the North-East of England around Sunderland concentrating on his creative practice. His interests have ranged widely in the natural and historic environment and he has also made many series of semi-abstract images inspired by archaeological remains, details of nature and landscape.

Sophie Marritt, artist & exhibitor

Sophie Marritt originally trained and worked as a scientist and began practice as an artist following training at Norwich University of the Arts. Her work is mainly concerned with sea, landscape and nature.The collection of paintings on display in Water Rising was made specially to capture the watery landscapes of the Wash and the Fens of Norfolk, Lincolnshire and Humberside.

Emma Critchley, artist,

Emma Critchley is an artist who uses a combination of photography, film, sound and installation to continually explore the human relationship with the underwater environment as a political, philosophical and environmental space. She is Royal College of Art alumna and has developed works funded by organisations including The National Media Museum, The Photographers Gallery, Arts Council England, the British Council, the Singapore International Foundation and the European Regional Development Fund. Awards include the Royal College of Art Sustain ‘Moving Minds’ award, winner of the British Underwater Image Festival, finalist in a number of Saatchi Gallery awards including New Sensations 2011. Her work has been shown extensively both nationally and internationally in exhibitions at The Australian Centre of Photography, the ICA Singapore, Gerhard Marcks Haus Germany, Eyebeam New York, The National Portrait Gallery, The Photographers Gallery, the Royal Academy and Tate St Ives. A recent commission from Opera North Projects toured to the Southbank Centre and the BALTIC Centre for contemporary art. In 2017 completed a year’s residency called Culture & Climate Change: Future Scenarios. From this she is developing a public soundscape about underwater acoustic pollution and a film about deep sea mining, funded by the Jerwood Charitable Foundation.