The Valley of Wells

 

The Valley of Wells is an interactive and performative installation, framed around the stories and mythology of the Valley of Wells. The Valley of Wells is the valley of the Fleet River (also known as the River of Wells) in London, which runs from Hampstead Heath down to Blackfriars, passing through Camden, Kings Cross and Farringdon.

The installation includes artwork inspired by my research into the Valley of Wells, including maps, screenprints, paintings and watercolours. I bring a live element to the space in the form of ongoing storytelling, sharing the stories and myths I have found about the area with anyone who would like to hear them, and answering any questions I can about the area. This performance is conversational, and like the stories themselves interweave the many layers of history together led by the curiosity of the audience.

Story evolves in the shared imagination between story-carrier and story-listener, this is different each time the story is told and heard. These unique acts of imagination and resonant images are captured on Clootie Rags by audience members and then woven and stitched into paintings creating a shared dreaming of the Valley of the Wells. Clootie Rags and ribbons are traditionally tied to trees and bushes near wells by pilgrims visiting the sacred site

Another key component to the installation are Wish Jars of Fleet River water collected from a fountain on Hampstead Heath, the heavy sediment of this mineral rich water collects at the bottom of the jars. In a play on the wishing well tradition (a modern survivor of the magical worship of wells), audience members can participate by writing their wishes on the labels and tying them to the jars.

For these wishes to have a chance of coming true the water of the Fleet must be returned to the end of its ancient destination, the Thames. In a collective mass performance, you are invited to join the Water Carriers as they leave Kings Cross and follow the course of the Fleet River down to Blackfriars, to empty the Wish Jars into the Thames.

You can see The Valley of Wells at…

Fields: MA Art and Science Degree Show

Central Saint Martins, Granary Building, 1 Granary Sq, N1C 4AA

23 – 27 May 2018. Wed-Fri 12-8pm. Sat-Sun 12-5pm

https://www.facebook.com/events/1768222106574028/

 

Crossing Fields: MA Art and Science Symposium

Central Saint Martins, Granary Building, 1 Granary Sq, N1C 4AA

26 May, 12.30-4.30pm

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/crossing-fields-ma-art-and-science-symposium-tickets-44583468354

 

Water Carriers

2-mile walk from Kings Cross to Blackfriars along the course of the buried River Fleet to carry peoples wishes to the Thames.

Starting point: Central Saint Martins, Granary Building, 1 Granary Sq, N1C 4AA

27 May, leaving at 4.30pm prompt.

https://www.facebook.com/events/207214463409484/

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/water-carriers-tickets-46259755173

 

 

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