Blue Space: The Changing Currents of Resilient Waterways
Blue Space is a collaboration between the artists Priysha Rajvanshi and Elise Guillaume. The project has been brought together by a team from the RCA’s Curating Contemporary Art programme in partnership with the host venue, Gasworks.
The Global Climate Emergency and other issues we face with nature largely come from our (human) exploitation of it. We often share stories in relation to our experiences with these challenges; our feelings of injustice, the discomfort we experience, our fears, and even at times, our tales of displacement. Yet, despite our fraught relationship with our living environment in which we co-exist – we persist.
In the Blue Space, each artist responds to our evolving relationship with nature through the creation of a provisional shelter that gives voice to the environment. Large cyanotype sheets made in the River Thames by Rajvanshi have been adapted to form the tent’s canopy with a related projection across the interior walls. While, an original soundscape produced by Guillaume incorporates the vibration-based audio of natural elements with spoken word, to allow for a speculative conversation between humans and our surroundings to occur. Through this, the artists invite visitors to slow down and listen to the earth, as to hear its perspective as we look to adapt to our changing world.
This project was formed from recognising the stresses that our friction with the environment are inducing. As a proposed place of solace for local people, it aims to offer a soothing and open-minded plateau. Here, through interacting with the artistic practices brought forward, we introduce a moment of calm confrontation and learning by hearing. Through this, we look to present an opportunity to begin the process of healing a fractured but essential relationship with the place we live. Crucially, to consider the Blue Space in a gallery in London, this also connects us with the other people we share our earth with, whose struggles like the environment are not always acknowledged.
Through entering the space, audiences are invited to not only take from nature, as is too often the scenario, but by listening to it; acknowledge it as a collaborator, a living entity, to recognise its stresses and its sorrow, its moments of courage and its ailing contentment. In embracing this meeting of perspectives, one can slow down, be immersed in the comfort of the shelter, and take advantage of the moment of reflection, familiar recognition, and re-connection being offered as we look to adapt to our changing world.