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 had its debut here. The ten canvases were hung 600 cm apart on a wall 13 metres long, with captions that showed the phrases embedded in the river and the riverbed.
I think of Undercurrents as the first of the Portable Series. The most recent work in the series is The Portable Forest, but it began here in 2007 with Undercurrents, a five metre-long section through an imaginary river of words. Colour flows across ten canvases in an attempt 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, for which 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 painting was created to fit the space in which it was displayed, 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.
More details are available in the exhibition press release at