Wetlands Unravelled explores conflicting notions of our relationship with and management of wetland environments by focusing on the overlooked and hidden stories of the site. Found on land and in water, the artworks evolve from the sights, sounds and stories of these wetlands. Reflecting time spent with WWT conservationists, the artists respond to wetlands and their paradoxical role as both victim and saviour in the fight against the environmental emergency.
The installation presented within the wetlands site ‘Living Collections’ features five small figures that are part human, part creature.
These figures are hybrid forms that have moved in and made the site their home, for now.
Our collective movements this past year have been severely restricted with the global pandemic and perhaps we are now more aware of our environments and how we live with the natural world. With this installation I wanted to consider our relationship to the environment and more specifically our wetlands. The London Wetlands is carefully managed to support new birds and species as they come and go but the site is also a microcosm of the wider world, reflecting often difficult migratory pathways and the ripple effect of climate change.
Within the conservation world there is a term ‘imprinting’ when a bird or creature utilises person-made materials and sites, and adapts to these environments in order to survive.
This installation turns this term around and considers, should we be more animal and work with the environment?
Photography by Julian Abrams.