Streamlines

Presented at The City and The City: Contested Spaces Group Exhibition

Curator Fion Gunn,

APT Gallery, Deptford, London

May 3rd - 19th, 2012

 

Visuals: Sarah Rubidge
Sound: Alan Stones

Streamlines: 3-screen installation in action

Streamlines explores the multiple streams that flow through the City .... streams of people and of traffic, railways and roads, rivers and brooks and streams lying above, by and below the streets. For this installation all video was recorded in and around the centre of London and its suburbs.

The River Wandle takes pride of place in the lower screen, which celebrates the multiple flows of the rivers that permeate the city of London. One of London's 'hidden' rivers the Wandle rises on the edge of 21st century London, flows through pristine rural retreats in the suburbs that are untouched by pesticides and the marks of contemporary civilisation, on through neglected wastelands crossed by railways, past supermarket buildings, car parks and industrial estates, eventually becoming a slow-moving muddy stream as it reaches the Thames at low tide.

At the same time in the upper screen London's population is streaming over and under bridges, down crowded thoroughfares, through ancient lanes once populated by our ancestors, unwittingly following the paths of the past and the paths of rivers that lie hidden beneath the surfaces they traverse as they go about their daily business. Their ambulatory tracks are echoed by London's traffic; cars and lorries, vans and railways in continuous motion, all creating a never-ending flow under and over rivers and bridges, giving life, and maybe its opposite, to the city they serve.

Sensation plays across the middle screen. It generates a feeling of the oft-buried sensations engendered as we experience the world we are creating during journeys along the well-trodden bridges and paths taken by our forebears when they were forming the geography of the city and during the moments that we take the time to simply stop and stare.

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