Cynthia Barlow Marrs SGFA

Portfolio: • The Portable Series

Undercurrents - Ten views through a river of words

Undercurrents on The Wall in the Thames Gallery at the River & Rowing Museum in Henley-on-Thames.

Undercurrents is a five metre-long section through an imaginary river of words. Colour flows across ten canvases to suggest the narrative flow of a story. Each canvas is 120cm tall and 50 cm wide.

Undercurrents draws on my previous experience as an environmental planner, my current career as an artist and my ongoing experience as a student of creative writing.

One of my land planning projects was the strategic plan for a flood alleviation scheme. We drew many sections across and along a proposed new river channel. For Undercurrents I imagined myself standing in a river channel with stories flowing downstream all around me, the water's surface just above my head. I filled the channel with quotations about the flow of water, of words, of creative expression.

The installation was developed in response to the exhibition space The Wall in the Thames Gallery of the River & Rowing Museum in Henley-on-Thames. The exhibition opened in November 2007 and ran for three months. Undercurrents has travelled to the Grandstand at Royal Windsor Racecourse and to other exhibitions of mine, both group and solo.

Undercurrents at the West Wing arts centre

In other venues Undercurrents panels are hung one next to the other over five metres.

Among the quotations embedded in Undercurrents is this one from The House at Pooh Corner:

"For a long time they looked at the river beneath them, saying nothing, and the river said nothing too, for it felt very peaceful and quiet..."

Acrylic and cut papers on canvas

Undercurrents - ten views through a river of words

"The simplest way to tell a story is to begin at the beginning and go on until you reach the end, or your audience falls asleep."

David Lodge in The Art of Fiction

Original
Acrylic and cut papers on canvas
120cm x 500cm

Undercurrents 8 - detail

"He learnt to swim and to row and entered into the joy of running water." The Wind in the Willows

Original

Undercurrents 4 5 and 6

"A well can be created by drilling below the water table to reach an aquifer. If the water finds its own way out, the result is a spring."
H2O - A Biography of Water by Philip Ball

Original
Acrylic and cut papers on canvas
120cm(h)

Moonlit Forest no. 3 - from The Portable Forest series

One of six Moonlit Forest panels, all of which are now in a private collection.
Moonlit Forest no. 3 was exhibited at DRAW 13, the Annual Open Exhibition of the Society of Graphic Fine Art at the Menier Gallery, London in 2013.

Original
Acrylic and cut papers on canvas
120cm x 50cm
Sold

Sunlit Forest no. 1 - From the Portable Forest series

One of five canvases in the Sunlit Forest series inspired by Windsor Great Park.

Original
Acrylic and cut papers on canvas
120cm x 50cm

£500.00