Traces of Water is a collection of works by artists Alice Barton and Rory Buckley. This exhibition consists of three consecutive installations that have been designed and created for Burdall’s Yard in Bath. This interdisciplinary project incorporates moving image, screendance, sound art, set design and sculpture. Taking inspiration from the architecture of the building, the artists explore the thematic connections between the human body, water and its environment.
Room 1 – Opaque, 2018
Pond Liner, Powered Milk, Water, Bottles, Spotlights, Hydrophones, Ceramic Plates
The canvas of the room endorses interplay between light and darkness – at times the fading lights resembles embryotic structures. The bubbles on the surface suggest life exists beneath. A random dripping soundscape is created that runs parallel to a programmed light sequence, at times this can be perceived as diegetic sound. The spotlights reflect off the milky surface to capture the caverns rocky arches. Hydrophones in the water convert the floor into an interactive sound conductor, allowing footsteps to subtly interact with the ambience of the room.
Room 2 – Cascade, 2018
Pond Liner, Wood, Water, PVC piping, Plastic, Projector, Water Pumps, Acetate
Rain falls from the ceiling forming a vertical screen and is collected by a stone-covered trough in the centre of the space. The movement of water generates a live unamplified sound that fills the space in contrast to the processed sound of the previous room. A moving image of a body is projected onto the falling water. Hanging strips of plastic extenuate the projected image, suggesting suspended sea vegetation. The multi screen creates a visual sense of water reflections, immersing the space in the fluid imagery.
Room 3 – Fragments, 2018
Pond Liner, Earth, Water, Stones, Vegetation, water pump
This space is designed to conjure memories of the natural landscape by surrounding the viewer with elements of nature. This room stands in contrast to the other two rooms, drawing on the tranquility and simplicity of the natural environment. It explores how the human’s senses function when responding to nature, amplifying a sense of nostalgia in the present moment. The idea behind this room is to not reproduce a landscape but to integrate it into the design of the space.