Project Context stonepaperwater, and us - a dual installation and performance by Jeni McConnell and Kerry Morrison for Not a Drop: a 48-hour multidisciplinary arts event hosted in a grand Victorian warehouse in Tower Bridge, London which brought together artists, activists, ecologists and innovators to explore the diverse issues as well as aesthetic qualities around water.
Timed to the tidal drift of the Thames Jeni and Kerry are out In water that's out Gathering Stones Over which the Thames has flowed Pails of stones and pails of water Brought back, carried To this spot Where You Can write your thoughts for Not a Drop Project Description At first a simple visual; a suspended paper installation. Streaks of white hand-ripped paper held aloft, flickering as bodies moved close by, teased by the wind's breath which shifted through the nearby open window. Intended to suggest water falling, full fast and hard, there were many strips in the beginning. Over time as the each one was carefully chosen and removed, the waterfall diminished, eventually to a small visual trickle. Each thread a length of dissolving paper, specifically chosen to disperse on impact with flowing water.
Below rests a chipped, enamelled bowl on the well-trodden wooden floor. Filled to the brim with stones, locally collected river stones, River Thames stones, chosen for their waterworn appearance; soft and smooth from the tidal ebb and flow which has shaped them to how they appear today. Chosen to carry messages from visitors, to convey their personal watery thoughts back to a watery place. Yet these personal words, human-made marks on a dissolving paper strip in permanent ink; the single most damaging part of the process, ask those involved to think deeper about their own impact on water, as well as the wider global issues raised.
Thin strips of water soluble paper and stones collected from the Thames
Pick a strip, pick a pen, pick a stone
Spill your thoughts for water and environment on a strip
Choose a stone and wrap your thoughts around it
Your thoughts, wrapped tightly around your stone, bound together: words with stone
This stone, these words, are yours to take when you leave Not A Drop
At a time that’s right for you, if you wish, cast your stone back into the Thames
Your stone will sink, back into the Thames’ ebb and flow, your words will disperse, your thoughts remain…
Our Returning performance took place at the end of the event for those who asked us to put their message into the water, placed into the River Thames at Tower Bridge after a perambulating walk with buckets and stones along the streets and over the bridge.
Watery thoughts, hopes and dreams dispersed in fast flowing water; connected together, forever