Drop in the Ocean has led on to collaborations with other artists who are interested in water, performance and ecology.
Ffynhonnell (Drop) (2015) a collaboration with Machynlleth-based artist Jane Lloyd Francis and film-maker Sara Penrhyn Jones.
Ffynhonnell:Source is an ongoing series of performance works by Jane Lloyd Francis exploring what is left of lost or forgotten wells; part of a wider reflection on our increasingly tenuous relationship with water and where it comes from. What do we reawaken – draw up from the earth – when we visit and honour wells? How can we breach the surface of ancient water places and respond to their resonances? As part of the installation that I invited Jane to create for the stairwell space at Gas Gallery during the Drop in the Ocean residency (2015), Jane took me and the Drop yoke and buckets to visit a few of the twelve wells that she has found in the Aberystwyth area (drawing from old maps, local knowledge and handwritten texts discovered at the National Library of Wales). We were accompanied by film-maker Sara Penrhyn Jones who documented our journey with stills photography and audio recording to produce this short film that was installed on a loop in the gallery stairwell.
Dropped in the Ocean (2013-15) was a transnational performance project and split-screen film, made in collaboration with Canadian artist Bronwyn Preece.
Two performers. Two bottles. Two messages. Two fresh water sources. Two oceans. Two tide tables. Two cameras. One film.
Two dancers’ bodies separated by skin, screen and sea look out towards the horizon and acknowledge the third body that lies between: the ocean, a body of salt water at the same concentration as their own. They are asking ‘how do we communicate across distance?’ that of time and space, that which exists between our awareness of global crisis and our local everyday behaviours, the split between our humanity and our ecology, the chasm between the scale of what we need to do and what we are not doing? Can we reach out with, across, and through the transformative, immersive medium of water and telematic touch?
In the age of ecological crisis, what would our message in a bottle read today?
In December 2013, we exchanged (via sea mail) bottles of our drinking water, around which was wrapped a message articulating our memories about and concerns for water. When the parcels arrived, we took each other’s water and words to the sea at a local site (Wales/Canada) where we improvised a solo performance ‘response’ for camera. The footage was subsequently edited together into a split-screen film presented here, the images overlaid with the audio recordings of us reading each other’s messages.
When you do dance, I wish you
A wave o’ the sea, that you might ever do
Nothing but that; move still, still so,
And own no other function
Shakespeare The Winter’s Tale IV, iv