Ice Installation, collaboration with Royal Northern College of Music at Victoria Baths, Manchester.
In June 2011 the Royal Northern College of Music staged the event ‘Noise of Many Waters’ at the Victoria Baths, Manchester. This event occupied every floor of the Victorian Baths with a range of musical performances through the evening. As part of this event I was asked to make an installation to accompany the performance of Gavin Bryars’ work, ‘The Sinking of the Titanic’ All music in the film is taken from this event
In this piece of work, which explores the elusiveness of the frozen and the liquid; the idea of passage from one state to another, I made ice sculptures in the shapes of large bells and domes, which had lights frozen into them. As the ice slowly melted, they became light enough for the helium balloons they were attached to lift them up. There was a magical period when there was only just enough lightness to allow floating, and the ice pieces hovered slowly in front of the eyes. The work was to happen in conjunction with a world premiere performance of Gavin Bryars’ Sinking of the Titanic, extended specially to last for 2 hours and 43 minutes, and my idea was that somehow the lights and the rising would represent souls rising from the watery deeps and going to a good place.
During the time I was working on the project, I set up a camera and filmed myself, helped by Jim during the evening performances. This is the film that I made about the making of the installation
A brilliant and moving concept. The short segment showing the souls rising felt quite profound. Did it go approximately the way you had imagined?
Hi – yes – approximately – but it is very difficult to predict the rate at which large volumes of ice will melt. I found that they all melted a bit too late, so that not many of them floated during the main part of the performance, they just went up to the ceiling at the end as a sort of rare event. Maybe that was good though.
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