Deluge (2017 – 2018)

Deluge is an interdisciplinary, multi-partnered, multi-sited artwork with funding from Arts Council Wales. This 18 months project uses photography, film, digital textiles and hybrid craft to interrogate materials and objects that allegorize how we’ve arrived at the Anthropocene (our current geological age where human activity is the major factor in global instability). The subjects of my investigation will be translated into  ‘affective objects’, which are able to transfer narrative and emotional data to the audience.

Objects include: a lump of Welsh coal, a nugget of Cornish copper, a group of plankton, a pollinating insect, an expanding ripple across the water, a ‘Deluge’ drawing by Da Vinci, a modern smartphone.

Deluge focuses on the consequences of ‘a tide of globalization’ by alluding to global contexts through a local lens. Conceptually, the project is concerned with forces, flows and journeys, and the interconnected yet increasingly disconnected languages and codes that signify these movements. The work is trilingual, English, Welsh and Cornish, and translates and transcodes elements of telegraphic, electronic, cartographic and taxonomic languages. Deluge has strong partner support, experienced collaborators, and an innovative framework for production, delivery and dissemination of outcomes. Partners are: Craft In The Bay, Oriel y Parc, Fotonow in Plymouth, Milford Haven Port Authority, and Swansea University Morfa-Hafod Copperworks Digital History Project.

Deluge is structured around three inter-connected strands:

Of Earth and Elements

Coal and copper as the precursor of globalization; re-constructed journeys between Wales and Cornwall – copper and coal, sea and space (ships, telegraph, and satellite), across voice and code – movements of commodities via GPS and smartphone technology (which require copper to function).

Of Plant and Insect

Threatened relationships between beneficial insect pollinators and mutual plant communities (essential for food production) caused by intensive farming practices and destruction of land and ecosystems from mass mining operations (coal, copper, and other ‘rare earth’ metals used for smartphone and satellite technology).

Of Sea

The rise of oceanic temperature levels and acidity as a result of global warming – causing diminishment of plankton, vital to the stability of the global carbon cycle – coastal inundation, extreme weather, leading to displacement of coastal communities, loss of habitats.

Karen