Fol­low unique drain idea

Albany Advertiser - - AGENDA - Shan­non Smith

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.

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