9 files

(Dis)enchanted Walking - Sweet Waters: installation media

posted on 2021-03-24, 18:31 authored by Richard S. White
Two public walking arts projects, Honouring Esther and Sweet Waters, developing a critical walking arts and media practice bringing past injustices into present consciousness generating contemporary social justice resonances.The live work offers an iteration of walking-with (Sundberg 2014) as a non-confrontational approach attending to obscured and reluctant heritage (Tomory 1997).

This item contains documentation of the following:

SWEET WATERS 2016-17: sense-ing legacies of slave-ownership in Bath and along the River Avon

Aims to develop an iteration of walking-with method as a non-confrontational approach attending to obscured and ‘reluctant heritage’ (Tomory 1997), extending techniques of spatial/temporal layering and folding as dissonant stimuli, generating social justice resonances.

This item: Installation media produced using walkers social media posting and Richard White's field recordings and other documentation from the cycle of walks. The work was produced initially for the Sweet Waters:Soundings installation at Saltford Brass Mill in 2017 and used in subsequent presentations. The media in this item was produced responding to and articulating the walk experience as part of a site specific installation, projecting onto uneven and distorting surfaces. Audio files are Richard White's reading of letters of contract to the captains of slave-trading ships leaving Bristol with goods produced along the route of the Sweet Waters walks and some observation by the cousin of William Beckford making 'picturesque' observations of the captured and enslaved people he owned. The original letters to the ships captain are held in Bristol Archives and used with permission. Beckfords book, 'A Descriptive Account of the Island of Jamaica (1790) is available online

Project Outline: Developed over an 18 month period involving over 50 walkers and many hundreds online, Sweet Waters was part of Richard White’s ongoing investigation of walking arts as social justice intervention, developing tactics for articulating and materialising corporeal experience and affective resonance. The project resonates with UNESCO World Heritage programmes, specifically attending to legacies of slave-ownership. The project was commissioned for Bath Festival Fringe, funded by Arts Council England with support from Bath Spa University, Festival of Nature and Fringe Arts Bath. An installation at a heritage site followed as part of Museums Week and Journey to Justice Bristol. Participation was extended using social media with trails generated live and aggregated. Referencing body fluids and the memory of water folded in an understanding of the water cycle, the project generates insights and observations on volatile and porous bodies (Longhurst 2001), the power of things and memory making practices (Micieli-Voutsinas 2016; Bennett 2010).

Sweet Waters videos also available here


Arts Council England: Bath Festival Fringe commission 2017

Bath Spa University