The exhibition was in response to Bristol’s underground river, the Frome, that runs through the centre of the city covered by the large shopping mall, Cabot Circus. The table I created was inspired by T S Eliot’s “Dry Salvages”, quoted below. showing our control of environment and its’ will.
Every day pyrex dishes were filled with water and suspended in a 2.5m tall table with a strong, focused light directed towards them. As the viewer pulls the handle, a fishing weight touches the surface of the water and an image of the water movement is projected on to the floor.
“I do not know much about gods; but I think that the river
Is a strong brown god – sullen, untamed and intractable,
Patient to some degree, at first recognised as a frontier;
Useful, untrustworthy, as a conveyor of commerce;
Then only a problem confronting the builder of bridges.
The problem once solved, the brown god is almost forgotten
By the dwellers in cities – ever, however, implacable.
Keeping his seasons, and rages, destroyer, reminder
Of what men choose to forget. Unhonoured, unpropitiated
By worshippers of the machine, but waiting, watching and waiting.
His rhythm was present in the nursery bedroom,
In the rank ailanthus of the April dooryard,
In the smell of grapes on the Autumn table,
An the evening circle in the winter gaslight.“
Extract from The Dry Salvages by T.S. Eliot
The poet continues to move me, capturing an equality in the vitality present both us and the river. He later writes, “The sea is within us, the sea is all about us“.