I spent Friday helpping Sorrel Muggridge to install a new art work called ‘A Curious Meander’. We met on the Banff Walking and Art residency in 2007, and by co-incidence we are both making work about water at the moment.
The work ‘A Curious Meander’ is based on walks made beside the River Wensum in Norwich accompanied by people associated with the water. During each walk Sorrel recorded their conversations about associations with water and collected water from the river. Vials of water from these walks are displayed in the drawers of an old collectors cabinet, labeled with key words or phrases from those walks that tell of events, actions, histories and feelings associated with rivers. ‘Water Vole headbutt’, floods, eels, boats all make appearances. Longer quotes from the walks are stenciled onto upturned white umbrellas floating in the water, as the river itself is used as the site for the installation. The work is also installed at ‘Pull’s Ferry’, the Girl Guides Headquarters, an old flint building on a bridge over the a canal that used to lead from the river up to the Cathedral.
Sorrel’s method of walking and talking has developed in her practice over many years. It allows the act of walking and movement through specific places to provoke and remind participants of their associations with water. Her thoughtful editing of these fluid dialogues leaves us with statements that invite an audience to imagine further narratives and to add their own walk and thoughts to the series.
The installation for the Norwich festival will continue to collect stories of water, and the installation will grow throughout the project as visitors take up the question ‘Where does the river take you?’ and the invitation to “join me at Pull’s Ferry to retell your walk, where your unique journey will become part of the artwork”
This printed invitation to make a walk was hand set using traditional processes and printed on old printing presses at a museum beside the river. The green of the ink was mixed to match the colour of the water seen outside the museum.