CELINA JEFFERY, professor, curator of these waters have stories to tell, GLYNN VIVIAN ART GALLERY, SWANSEA, UK, 19 JAN – 11 MAR 2018
These Waters Have Stories To Tell, is a multi-faceted mediation of how art experiences nature, and specifically, how it embodies oceanic waters. The works in the exhibitions are often subtle, meditative and contemplative – they convey waters that open up, to be read and discovered like stories.
Artists Shiraz Bayjoo, Julia Davis and Sylvia Safdie present cartographies that are situated and relational – on the shorelines of Tasmania, Cyprus, Mauritius and Swansea amongst them – waters that have at times been polluted, gendered, and colonized. Yet, they are equally interested in traversing their mappings to invite the viewer to bear witness to how oceans, their micro-organisms, climates, and animals are affected by our actions. These are waters that continually alter their routes.
Artists Jaanika Peerna, Alexander Duncan and artist-science collaborators Christian Sardet and The Macronauts, ask us to look again – to be attentive of the material aqueous world in which we live. They focus upon oceanic bodies and beings as both phenomenon and habitats, and encourage us to witness the two interacting and generating force. They invite us to explore how oceanic waters can be embodied in individuals and species throughout time – how water transits and transmits its own stories.
Oceanic waters entangle us through time and place; ‘we’ exist in relation to these waters. These waters are alive and in trouble. Our watery world is a shared one, and these artworks ask us to be responsive to this mutual and intimate relationship.