Apparition is part of the Weymouth Art Trail, where each artist or artist team was commissioned to create a work on the theme of water. This Site-specific Art Trail project was managed by B-Side.
I chose the space under Swannery Bridge to work with because I liked that the water you see there is always somehow defined and constrained, making it calm and predictable, in contrast to the wild and rowdy sea that lies just a few hundred yards away. I also admired the build quality of the bridge, which you don’t really notice from the road above, but walking the riverside path underneath, you see ripples reflecting on the fine but unambiguously functional concrete structure underneath. I wanted to create an artwork which played with that sense of reassuring solidity by creating something very atmospheric and fleeting, connecting the calm river Wey to the fierce ocean into which it flows, reminding us that although to an extent we can engineer constraints and bridges for water, ultimately water is always much more powerful than we are.
Apparition consists of six photographs of storms printed on steel panels, selected from thousands of images of storms made in various Southern UK locations exclusively for this project, with the final six selected images working as a set. In the middle there is a graphic which triggers an app on your smartphone which turns the space under the bridge into a virtual projection of films of these storms. Thus the calm space under the bridge is haunted by the very wildest of seas I was able to capture over a two year period.
The six storms are mapped to the space under the bridge and they reposition themselves as you move about as if they are physically right there in front of you. In effect this is a virtual projection project, but one which creates no light pollution.
Philosophically, the thing I really love about storms is that they force us to acknowledge that we are not in charge of nature, and as humans, that our place in the scheme of things is a small one. Apparition explores the energy and emotion which water transmits to us through its dancing physicality.
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