Richard Broomhall: Severn Sea
Contains Art, East Quay, Watchet, Somerset, TA23 0AQ
open Wed – sun & daily during holidays
‘Broadly, my work is about our relationship with technology… and how in turn, these technologies shape us’
Severn Sea is a multi-media installation by Richard Broomhall inspired by the ancient mythology surrounding the West Somerset coastline and the Bristol Channel.
Artist-in-residence with Contains Art, Broomhall is inspired by the infrastructure of submarine internet cables that connect UK mainland from the River Severn to the rest of the world. His work is concerned with how this modern form of communication (which makes up 98% of all electronic communication) reflects the ancient forms of myth and storytelling surrounding this vast waterway.
'As you stand on the bay at Watchet and you look out across the Severn to Barry and Cardiff, you're looking immediately over four cables... Watchet and Contains Art are vital to [my] Severn Sea project, this is one of the few places where you can actually work as an artist, right on the banks of the Severn' – Richard Broomhall
In his installation, Broomhall transforms the exhibition space, a repurposed shipping container, home to the Contains Art gallery in the ancient harbourside town of Watchet, West Somerset, into the internal of a fibre-optic cable. Within this space, the artist presents his latest film created during his residency at the gallery. Combining drone footage and a specially commissioned animation sequence, viewers traverse the harbour walls and take a virtual plunge into the waters of the Bristol Channel.
Inside the film, our narrator Sabrina, a folkloric river goddess, summons a band of animated nation-state branded sharks to take ownership of these fibre-optic cables. The narrative covers ideas such as tribalism, capitalism, migration, movement and legend. Generations of Broomhall’s family have lived and worked along the banks of the Severn; by retracing their footsteps he confronts a boundary conflict on a global scale.
For more information visit http://www.containsart.co.uk/