Storyweir – Hive Beach

(bottom image by Pete Millson)

Proboscis (working with Gary Stewart and Stefan Keuppers) were commissioned by PVA medialab and Bridport Arts Centre working with Hive Beach Cafe and the National Trust as part of ExLab 2012 to create a new work, collaborating with communities, geographers and earth scientists on the Jurassic Coast at Hive Beach. We worked with cultural geographers  Dr Ian Cook, Dr John Wylie, Dr Nicola Thomas and Rose Ferraby from the Geographies of Creativity and Knowledge Research Group, University of Exeter. Research began in November 2011 and the final works were staged at Hive Beach between the 27 July and the 10 September 2012 .

The title Storyweir reflects the idea that the project is a ‘weir’ for catching stories,  inspired by traditional methods of fishing. Its also inspired by the idea that we were netting for stories from across time – human time and deep geological time. Through spending time on site in conversation with local people and visiors – including long term residents of Burton Bradstock, geologists, a fossil hunter, archaeologists, coastwatch volunteers, a fisherman, swimmers, kayakers,  National Trust staff and volunteers, tourists and with others (as well as reading and archival research)  we  explored the relationship between deep time and human time, looking at how it is reflected in the ongoing geological processes and human life at play on the landscape of the coast.  We also worked with cultural geographers Dr Ian Cook, Dr John Wylie, Dr Nicola Thomas and Rose Ferraby of the University of Exeter who each brought different ways of thinking about human and geological time – particularly how different times have viewed history (i.e. fossils were once cited as evidence of the biblical Deluge).

There were three fabric works sites on Hive Beach, in the Hive Beach Cafe and in the National Trust Hut. Alongside this we staged an evening event with a 3 screen outdoor audio video event with a live improvised score by Cellist Matthew Benjamin , a 2 screen  video and audio work was made for the Exlab exhibition in Bridport Arts Centre and a series of drawings for an Exlab pre exhibition in July.

Storyweir was commissioned in partnership with Bridport Arts Centre, PVA Media Lab, the National Trust and Hive Beach Cafe. It is Part of Ex Lab, a visual arts project responding to the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site in 2012. Funded by Arts Council England and West Dorset District Council.  Part of the Maritime Mix Cultural Olympiad by the Sea.

Science is not a bank of knowledge. It’s a way of knowing. Qualifications and working in professional labs certainly does help, but if you’ve ever looked at something and thought “hmmm, how does that work?” or “what happens if I…?” then you’re thinking like a scientist already. Dr. Adam Rutherford, The Geological Society, A True Amateur

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