‘Red Sea’ comprises a multi-screen video projection and ten large scale photographs. These works are an integral contribution to a group research project ‘Between Land and Sea’, devised by myself and three other researchers, Susan Trangmar, Cate Elwes and William Raban from the University of the Arts London. The project explores the relationship between the land and the sea from our individual perspectives as artists but in relation to agreed issues of migration and a range of ecological and environmental concerns like climate change, and pollution. The project also examines the role and function of new technologies on communication in the context of this subject matter.
‘Red Sea’, including the photographic series, focuses on my concern to combine the poetic image of the sea with an overlay of environmental concerns. In the video work, projected on three large screens side by side, I use audio and visual Morse Code messages referring to the transit of dangerous cargo and the intensity of commercial shipping in the English Channel. Initially I saw this as a way of reflecting inevitable obsolescence in forms of communication back onto my own use of digital media in an age of rapid technological change. At the same time, the light and sound pulses interacting between the three screens establish a physical aesthetic rhythm - an optical animation effect fundamental to cinema.
The exhibition at Box 38 in Ostende was the first of a number of intended outcomes to be related to maritime locations. Other exhibitions are in preparation, including Plymouth in 2008, which will involve further development of the research project itself related to the new site. The research process is being documented to provide a track of the developing methodologies for group research leading to individual artistic practice within defined themes and issues.