Heather and Ivan Morison
Tideway Artists in Residence for 2018-19
The notion of an artist in residence is now fairly standard practice within many regeneration and infrastructure projects. This can involve artists literally documenting the development and construction process, or a more creative response to the project.
It is a way of telling some of the stories of the people involved, or exploring the history and culture of a place or situation. Working with cultural sector partners, including galleries as well as arts and literature organisations, to co-commission artists could bring in additional resources as well as provide other platforms to present the work, thus taking the project to new audiences.
This is an opportunity for artists to creatively consider and respond to all of the sites across the project and to the project as a whole. This is not intended as a means of creating a documentary record of the project as such - this will be undertaken separately to the public art programme. Internationally acclaimed artist duo, Heather and Ivan Morison, have been appointed as the second Tideway Artists in Residence.
Heather and Ivan will be responding to this year’s Residency theme: ‘digging’. This theme can be interpreted in many creative ways, but it reflects the fact that construction of the Tunnel starts in earnest this year, and will reach an employment peak during 2018-19. Heather and Ivan have been invited to actively consider the projects’ huge workforce and scale of construction. They are spending 6 months visiting Tideway offices and sites, talking to people, reading, and gathering ideas, in order to get an understanding of the Tunnel’s construction and get to know some of the people involved in building it.
Heather and Ivan say, "When you dig, you find things, and if you don’t you still find earth, clay, mud, soil, stone and then you can make something.
We will begin with site visits, meeting staff members, understanding the plans, materials, construction, ecology, geotechnics, archaeology, history. We will read around the notion of tunnelling and digging, starting with science fiction, poetry and philosophy. We will convene meetings and present our work, lines of enquiry, and ask questions. We will then weave and leak our thoughts, observation, images, conversations and discoveries into our studio in Herefordshire, where they will mix into the artistic processes and whirl around with other art works, projects and thoughts.
Then we will make something that connects this artistic process, the tunnel and the people in it and above it."