The Twenty SS20 Issue

WATER: Water Works

By Jo Phillips

The visual construction of water is very difficult to capture, and its representation is executed by a few. The flowing dimensions, opens up a world of purification and regeneration allowing us to be washed away by its sensation. What happens when water is a response to waste? Jean- Francois Bocle’s installation entitled ‘Everything must go’ is a reconstruction of a wasteland, to symbolise the ruins of a long lost civilisation that is shored, against its discontents.

saatchi 2 Jean-François Boclé Everything Must Go 2014 97,000 Blue plastic bags (HD polythlene, thickness 18/20 microns) 54 x 30 x 14 cm each Image courtesy of the Saatchi Gallery, London (c)

Showcased in Saatchi gallery – the collection is entitled, Pangaea II: New Art From Africa and Latin America, a revolutionary platform to show cases empowering artists from many different corners of the world, evolving Eurocentric ideologies on art.


Jean-François Boclé Everything Must Go 2014 97,000 Blue plastic bags (HD polythlene, thickness 18/20 microns) 54 x 30 x 14 cm each Image courtesy of the Saatchi Gallery, London (c)

Bocle’s creative process involves bringing everyday objects into a relationship that is interested in highlighting dialectics like capitalism and consumerism, privilege and injustice, and so forth.

Meaghan Oglivie’s ‘Requiem of Water’ is about the art of remembrance of the ‘spirit of water’ whose memory has been repressed. Water is our life- sustaining gift from the world, connecting us to living beings together – without it, there is no life. Today’s technological obsessed society has become so indifferent to this important life source, forgetting it’s worth and it’s importance. Meaghan put humans face to face with this enchanting element, in her artwork as a response to human interaction with nature.

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The world’s natural inheritance of river, seas and oceans have been exploited, abused and contaminated. These narrative images embody our relationship and journey back towards honouring the waters.

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The exploration of indigenous culture and bodies of water around the world, Requiem of Water reveals the simple and profound truth that, “Water is Life”. The title signifies that we are going into a journey of mourning, a mass repose for the souls of the dead.

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The goal of Requiem of Water exhibit a heighten public awareness and encourage thoughtful responsibility towards our precious water sources and the role we all play In caring for them.  

Emma Critchley’s art installation entitled ‘You’ take us into a whole new water world. A sinister and eerie atmosphere is distilled from her projection piece by delving us into the world of the unknown.

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A film of a swimmer is projected onto the walls, illuminated in shrouds of water. This video is on loop continuously, showing us the ongoing cycle of water giving us life in a dark, unknown world.
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Despite it’s mysterious vibe, Critchley capture’s a perfect visual interpretation of water that is very difficult to capture. She demonstrates an art of fluidity and interpretation that is presented in ‘You’.
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Despite water being a natural topic for artists, it’s a topic that allows many different interpretations to be made which then protects the natural discourse of this life saving source.

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