Follow unique drain idea
No one would have thought water drains would become the focus of an immersive performance that tells us a little more about ourselves and the place we call home.
Perdita Phillips has created Follow the Water, a walk in which people discover where water travels and why it is important to know this.
Residents can take part in Follow the Water to find out more about their local neighbourhood and where they like to walk through stories and observations, all within an hour.
Phillips said drains were places nobody thought about until something went wrong.
“Yet they are places where human engineering meets nature and are important for the health of the waterways and harbours beyond . . . at the end of the walk, you get to expose a cyanotype — a sun-print — of the things you write, draw or collect along the way,” she said.
“Walking like this is a form of ‘slow art’ where you get to appreciate what is always around you — and see it in a new light.”
Phillips is a Perth artist who has organised walks connecting the wetlands and lakes in the CBD and is the current artist-in-residence at Vancouver Arts Centre.
She said in the 1980s and 1990s, water quality in Oyster Harbour and Princess Royal Harbour was poor.
“I remember hearing about the algal blooms in the rivers and harbours but had always wondered what had happened in the meantime,” she said.
“The major sources of nitrogen came from industry and agricultural drains but one of the reports written at the time also said that there were 18 drains entering Princess Royal Harbour from the city and I wondered what it would be like to find some of these drains.“
Follow the Water is open to single walkers or small groups from December 10-16.
Email [email protected] phillips.com for details.
There will be a drop-in cyanotype workshop on December 16 from 1-4 pm.
It costs $20 to attend.
Vancouver Arts Centre artist-in-residence Perdita Phillips has created immersive performance Follow the Water.