Where: The Courtyard at Somerset House, London
What is it?
On Saturday 22nd March you can mark World Water Day by heading to the courtyard at Somerset House and donating some water. These donations will be added to the a collection which will form Museum of Water, an exciting live artwork coming to Somerset House in June 2014.
From 12 noon to 6pm, live artist, sculptor and film-maker Amy Sharrocks and a team of archivists will be collecting the liquid donations. These donations can be anything from Thames water to tears, and in any vessel. The water collection so far ranges from jam jars to bottles in the shape of the Madonna. For those who want to tell the story of their water there will be interviews accompanying the donation.
There will be a second donation day on 16th April 2014 from 12 noon to 6pm.
The Museum of Water, a collection of publicly donated water and accompanying stories, will invite people to browse and interact with the Museum’s collection in the atmospheric depths of Somerset House’s Lightwells and Deadhouse. The collection of several hundred bottles includes water from a holy river in India, a burst London water main, 20-year-old evaporated snow from Maine, condensation from a Falmouth window, a new-born baby’s bath water and Norwegian spit. The bottles, in their myriad of shapes and sizes, will fill the walls and alcoves in a unique large-scale installation. Soundscapes of stories from donors will flow through the exhibition and water ‘custodians’ will be on hand to guide visitors through the bottles and stories, considering humans’ relationship with the most precious liquid the world has to offer.
Somerset House has a rich relationship with water dating back to the 16th century. A strategic site onto the Thames thoroughfare, Somerset House was built with a front door onto the river. Originally a grand riverside palace, it was later occupied by the Navy Board in the 18th and 19th centuries. Boats would enter through the building’s Great Arch and the Navy Commisioneri’s ornate gilded barge was stored on site to set sail to Whitehall. Highlighting the historical connection and returning the river to Somerset House there will be a room flooded with Thames river water, transported from the river in buckets by a human chain for the opening day of the exhibition and returned to the river in the same way on the final day. There will also be screenings of water-related films and a programme of public talks from experts, from environmentalists, scientists, development workers and politicians to philosophers, artists and poets.
More info: www.somersethouse.org.uk