For this interactive sound Installation I wanted to make visible the transformation of Salfords waterways, particularly in relation to climate change. I took as a starting point the paintings hung in the Victorian Gallery at the museum that featured these waterways, and then made a series of field recordings, and imagined soundscapes, in the specific locations, for example Blackfrairs Bridge. I also include locations not featured in paintings in the gallery, that might have not existed in victorian times, such as Kersal Wetlands – created as part of a flood protection scheme.
The genesis of Waves began through the In the Making group exhibition, which aimed to explore the artist’s process and draw inspiration from artefacts in the museum collection. Initially, as I walked around the Victorian Gallery at the museum, perusing what I consider to be a very traditional curation of Victorian oil paintings and other artefacts, I could not find anything that piqued my imagination. To distract myself from this irritation I glanced out of the window to the River Irwell fringing Peel Park, adjacent to the museum. As I continued to watch the river meander through the park greeting swans, the overhanging trees, reflecting the sky in its waters I absorbed myself in thinking how I could bring a narrative of this river into my artwork.
In ‘Bodies of Water’ Neimanis (2016) explores the idea of watery relations vs water as a resource and, what she labels ‘Anthropocene water’, where humans frame and interact with water. This theory supplied me with some concepts from which to examine what the River Irwell is or might be: a body of water, a chemical substance, and something unknowable that I want to get to know though capturing its sounds. This mutability fed into both the methods used to record the water sounds and informed my choice of tools for the sonification.