Blue Gold

Mixed media installation, Phoenix Gallery, Exeter.
Digital media including visuals and sound
Plastic mineral water bottles, natural materials including: Devon spring water, flowers, soil, clay, earth and mineral pigments, grains, seeds, spices.

Blue Gold refers to ancient rituals and festivals that celebrate our interdependence with the natural world. It seeks to question the effects of rapidly changing global weather conditions on culture.

Across cultures water has been honoured and held sacred for millennia.
In Derbyshire during the summer months the ancient ritual art of well dressing is still practised with floral shrines created to honour the life giving water of the wells. In India, symbolic and ephemeral floor decorations are create to mark festival days, the changing seasons and to honour the gods. During the ten-day festival in June to honour the river Ganges, pilgrims offer prayers and floral tributes, take ritual baths, and carry home offerings of the holy water to bless household shrines.

In 2006 Britain is facing the worst drought in 100 years and the value of water is forecast to outstrip gold on the world markets, earning it the nickname ‘Blue Gold’.

Will a nation of sun worshippers have to start praying for rain? Will the Ganges and the river Dart become part of future myth and folklore, enshrined in archive footage, music and poetry?

People were invited to interact with the work by writing their thoughts, feelings, concerns, wishes, etc. relating to the issue of climate change. 234 People added their messages and spent time reading others…they co-created the work and added a ritual element.

Blue Gold DVD
Duration: 8.39 minutes
River Lament Tamara Thomson
I Search for Summer Miriam Darlington, Moor Poets Volume II
A Steady Stream of Words Karen Eberhardt- Shelton, Moor Poets Volume II
Archive news footage 1989- 2006 With kind permission of BBC South West

BBC Southwest Spotlight news 30.06.06

“A clever and thought provoking art work; makes you think and I like the sense of audience participation also” Sukhi Bawa, London