WELCOME TO THE WORK OF ARTIST'S HILARY KNEALE AND ANN RAPSTOFF CONCERNING AN EXPLORATION OF WATER

Monday, 29 June 2009

Hilary Kneale Making Space artist in residence Coventry June 2009

I have been working with the element of water for the last year and a half, below is an extract from a blog from the residency Making Space page on the Summer Dancing site.

..I arrived here on Monday morning having never been to the city of Coventry. I was swept up in the movement of the ring road and was eventually spat out somewhere in the area of part of the University! I entered my studio base through the back of the Ellen Terry building, seeing the inner workings of the building before her face, which is an old cinema! My studio space is plentiful and the floor is coated with a black lino, which allows me to work freely with water, water colour in deep black on black! I unloaded all the glass containers and stools and jars containing water from different places in the country and the world, into this room with the black floor, realising that although I could create an almost instant landscape in the room with the objects I had brought, I had no idea about the landscape of the building, its inner workings or how it was placed within the larger workings of the city. I had heard of the cathedral, I had heard of car manufacture, I had heard of massive bombings during the blitz, the whole landscape of the city and its multi layers is new to me. So I began within the studio, marking the space around me with the objects, a landscape both totally new and somehow familiar.

..I have begun to orientate myself within the city and to look for the lifeblood of the city, its water. Under the city runs a river, the Sherbourne. I could see some of its course plotted on the city map. I traced the river towards its source on Watery Lane near Corley Moor and where it entered the city under Meadow Lane and again where it re-emerged at Gosford Street roundabout; there may be a glimpse of the river in the centre of town. I have spent the second day following the river towards its source, the river running under the bridge at Four Pounds Avenue has hidden secrets, the up stream river bed is full of coins as for wishes and the down stream side has an offering of a circlet of red rose buds, as I walked across the open space on my way out of the city, I stopped to watch a lesser spotted woodpecker feed its noisily insistent young in side a hole in a river willow. I walked out of the city as far as Allesley taking time to pause in the nearby meadow on the edge of the Sherbourne as a stream; the red clay here reflects the colour of the stone and brick that built the city. I exchanged water from the source of the Thames with water from the Sherbourne, creating a simple ritual to mark the connection of all living things within the web of life.

I caught the bus back to town and then found my way to the downstream part of the river at Gosford roundabout at the end of Jordan Well and walked beside it to the end of the first playing field. The river on this side of town is a sad affair, it is full of the discarded and unwanted, there is a stagnant smell about it in the air and the city rats glean the banks for food. Trees border the river in places, some sprout from the damp walls of the old brick industrial buildings doing their work of transpiration as best they can. I hope to follow the water further out of the city to see how it fares.

I again exchanged water that I had collected from the source of the Thames, with this tired city water and hope that the homeopathic essence of the newly emerged water from the source of a sister river would assist in its revitalization. I take time to thank this lifeblood of the land for its hidden work under the city. Part of the work I undertake with water, is simply to acknowledge its existence and its wildness in different places on the earth. I feel an important part of intuitive live art is its healing power; the maker and the witness have the possibility to view something familiar, from a different perspective and in waking up into the ‘new view’ with a change to see or respond differently. Water is something that each of us can so easily take for granted; we forget that it is wild, all its origins are wild, we tame it to serve us, often without thanks.

I imagine that many Coventry city dwellers do not know of the existence of a river beneath the streets. As I walk the land beside the river, both through fields beside the ‘young’ waterway and across the city itself over the hidden river, I am aware that I am beginning to relax into my new surroundings, my body begins making sense of the environment through movement and covering ground. The time I take for a physical arrival allows my creative senses to open and begin to respond. I can begin to ‘see’ through many layers at the same time. Once back in the city, I have more questions than answers, a receptionist in the City Hall directs me to the Library in the Herbert Gallery for historical information on the path of the river. I am directed to a copy of a map of the city created in 1750, held in the Herbert Gallery Library, which shows the river running openly through the city. I take photocopies of the maps with me into the studio.

..The installation in my studio shifts daily, it is a work in progress, a visible process, the shifts are subtle and shift as my intuitive understanding of this part of the earth and the city itself begins to grow. I have always had a close relationship with land and can often sense hidden stories. I set out to see if I can pick up a sense of where the river runs under the city. There is a place on the contemporary city map called The Burges, which is also on the 1750 map, I think there were two bridges at this point at one time. When I come to The Burges, the land begins to fall as though into a river basin, something pulls me into Palmer Lane between two buildings and towards a building site at the back. I turn my eyes to the right and there is the river! It is a joy to find it, seeing this untamable expression of life force in the open air between one culvert and the next! I hang out of the window of the Coventry Cross Pub to get a better view and watch it flow!

Back in the studio I compare old body maps I have of the flow of lymphatic fluids through legs, coloured blue, with the old river maps of the city. The water ‘spills’ off the maps and into watery landscapes I create on the floor of the studio, they change fast, the air conditioning in the windowless room makes the water evaporate rapidly, so the temporary ‘rivers’ I make, turn to lakes and then ponds and then disappear leaving an almost invisible record through the deposited salts the water leaves on the floor. I find it exciting to paint with water on to a black floor! The room feels animated and alive with the presence of the changing water.

Day 11. I received a visit today from my long time collaborator and friend Ann Rapstoff. Ann and I have worked together for ten years, firstly running and curating VAIN liveart a national live art platform based in Oxford over two years and then collaborating as artists working in the areas of installation and performance.

Ann and I are currently investigating various aspects of the element of water both as individuals and in some collaborative pieces. Our water work collaboration began with The Go-Between, linking the rivers Thames and Rhine. It is of great value having new work witnessed and to receive some feedback by a trusted colleague. When working in performance, the use of a video camera as witness is helpful but it is no substitute for the responses received from or the questions asked by another human being.

It was useful to hear Ann’s responses to the installation and to speak together about the links between the layers of the work, through my body out into the installation space and into the river scape, both, under, through and around the city. Ann and I have often stood in witness to each other’s work, on other occasions we become photographer for the other and we have built a strong sense of trust over the years. I am enjoying the new experience of working in the same ‘landscape’ while making individual work. During the day Ann and I visited some of the river and well sites that I have been responding to in the city.

Day 13...I began the day by working with photographer Christian Kipp, who spends much of his own creative time repeatedly re-visiting the same watery landscapes and noticing the subtle sifts of light and water levels through his lens. Christian began to find his way into my installation both as it stood alone and while I inhabited it. It is a complex landscape, part museum, part laboratory, part ‘land’, part ‘river’, it is a site for ritual and a site for environmental comment. We moved together through the layers, caught up by and following different aspects, knowing there was always another thread in the web, right there whispering to follow. Sometimes we met across a narrow stream or beside a pool or though the inverted images inside a glass vessel full of water. We both felt the complexity of the layers.

On occasion, I empty the space of objects and reintroduce one element and focus on one aspect of the work or the properties of the water as it moves across the floor, this allows the detailed aspects of the work to expand out of the complex whole. I was reminded me of an occasion when I watched a dew drop on the end of a blade of grass for long enough discover whether the water evaporated into the atmosphere or dropped from the tip of the grass to the earth. I watched as the sun rose and as the drop of dew became smaller and smaller and eventually evaporated! The public showing of my work today was a residue of the work Christian and I had done earlier.

...My studio was closed to the public, which gave me the whole day to make further investigations through the city. I have been building a sense of the movement of the river Sherbourne through the underground culverts of the city. There are many place names that have come through from Coventry’s early history and are still present on the contemporary city map, I am particularly interested in the sites that directly refer to the once natural route of the river. The bus station is at Pool Meadow, some of the old wells exist near Jordan Well, the river still flows out from under the city at Gosford Gate it flows just outside the site of the old city wall, which is marked on the forecourt of the tyre and exhaust centre in paving of a similar colour to the original medieval wall. Armed with my enlarged map of the city centre I set off to follow the river, to build a sense of where it was flowing under me by using old and new maps and primarily the lie of the land itself, walking with a sense of the river basin, the ‘fall’ of the land, and asking myself, where would the river flow through this city if it were still above ground?

I began at the site of the old Gosford Gate where the river still emerges from its journey under the city and began to walk against the flow of the underground water. I found my way along remnants of the old wall, under the ring road, past the bingo hall, the bus station, the back of a building site behind the Coventry Cross pub where the river is briefly visible, beginning again outside the Kebab shop on the Bruges which bridges the river, crossing the road feeling the river under me, here I had to take a slight diversion round the multi-story car park instead of through it and into Corporation Street, at the end of the street I was attracted by the Elizabethan buildings that still remain and are inhabited, in Spon Street and happily followed the diversion away from the river. . Spon Street runs parallel to the once natural river bed, it was once situated outside the city walls and in relationship to the river above its floodplain.

There has been a butcher shop on Spon Street in the same building, for well over a hundred years, the current butcher has been in residence for over twenty, I asked him if he knew anything about the current course of the river near his shop, he sent me in the direction of the empty Woolworths, a car park and through the ground floor of New Look. I completed the cross city journey at the edge of the Ikea car park, here the river emerges from under the ring road and is briefly visible before it dives under the city. Before the water was visible, I could feel it in the air and sense the drop in temperature, I watched the water through the railings of the culvert, as it followed its concrete container that forced it sideways at an angle. Later in the day, I repeated the journey with a hazel dowsing rod, feeling the river through it, travelling below me, I walked the invisible river once more along roads and through buildings. I passed people in the city going about their business with the river beneath them hidden from view.

For the time I was available to the public today, I decided to experiment with a walk I have been devising, through the city with the group who gathered. I planned to mark the pathway under the streets of the hidden city river, with pure water from the source of my home river, collected some time ago and that I had stored in a ten litre plastic container. Gian Paolo Cottino, artist and Summer Dance installation manager, taped the container to my back and across my chest, like a rucksack, using white gaffer tape and secured a tube inside the container to allow a continuous gravitational flow of water through it from the bottom of the tank which I could then control with my fingers. The group gathered and we walked down to the site of the old Gosford Gate where the river emerges from the city culverts. After spending a few moments watching the emerging river, we set off in the opposite direction to its underground flow. The tank and tube emitting a constant slow flow over the paths and roadways mirroring the underground river. As I got further into town, passing Meadow Pool, now a bus station, and through the back of Palmer Lane where the river is briefly visible in the city centre. I had to negotiate large buildings which forced me to divert away from the river path, I skirted the walls and edges of the buildings, remaining as physically close to the true course of the river as possible. I passed beside bus queues and busy shoppers, stopping and renegotiating my direction when faced with a brick wall or shop window.

I had not taken in the vision of my whole before I had left the Ellen Terry Building, but my choice of brown trousers and walking boots in combination with an unrecognisable contraption on my back emitting an unknown liquid onto the streets caused a bit of a stir! I must have looked somehow threatening! I was almost at the end of the walk across the city, when, several policemen who arrived in cars with lights flashing ‘apprehended’ me! A number of fearful residents unsure of my intention had contacted the constabulary!

I have to say, the police, quickly understood that although I may have unwittingly looked as mortally threatening as a suicide bomber, that I was in fact an artist with a tank full of spring water on my back. They didn’t prevent me from reaching my goal of the small section of open river near the entrance to the Ikea car park, but one of the officers walked beside me and others followed by car. I completed the ritual walk with a police escort and the group. When we arrived at the river I allowed the remaining spring water in the tank to pour into the river below. We all stood a while and watched the body of water disappear under the city. When I had finished, I was asked to remove the empty tank at the request of the police, so that I didn’t cause any further public consternation on the return journey! It was suggested that should I repeat the action, I contact them first.

Chatting about the work afterwards, some of the members of the group, students of the university, said that they had been unaware of the existence of the river, even though they passed by close to it often! Now, I imagine, it will be etched into their consciousness! It was also suggested by Gian Paolo, that next time I might consider what the possible perceived meanings of my clothing might be, though not necessarily change the choice! Or, if I did want to be inconspicuous, perhaps I should wear a flowery dress and wobbly antennae!

Each day that I have opened the studio and activated the installation by inhabiting it, the resulting actions have been totally different, I have worked both within previously executed forms and followed new and unexpected outcomes in the moment. This has enabled the work to feel alive as I continue to explore its possibilities with a curiosity. The form of each opening is also affected by the constellation of the particular viewers and what aspect they bring with them into the studio. I involve and include the viewer at some points in the work, by asking them to take care of a jar of water from the wide range of collected waters of the world which include precipitation, ocean and river water or I ask them to tend one of the large egg shapes that I fill with water.

The final opening was part action, part story telling from within the installation and my research both into the element of water and within the city. Towards the end, one or two of the viewers asked questions or asked to conduct their own small water experiments within the installation; this enabled me to witness even more avenues and possibilities available within the work!

In working between the river Sherbourne, the city of Coventry and the studio, I have created a real and visible context for the work, placing it within the immediate environment.

During the time that I have been researching this particular step of the work in Coventry, I have had contact with many of the inhabitants who have added to the richness of my investigation in various ways, they given me directions, free bus rides when I didn’t have the correct change coming back from the river source, they have told me stories about the river and their lives, made me delicious coffee knowing by the second day that I only take half a sugar, they have stopped their cars turning off blaring music to ask me with genuine curiosity what I am doing with my hazel dowsing rod and then been amazed to discover that there is a river under their city, they have taken me through their bookshops to see excavations for Roman remains, told me the history of their butcher shops and which car park the river is under, they have called the police because I looked suspicious, they have allowed me to dangle bottles out of pub windows and down wells to collect indigenous water and much, much more.

Coventry is a city that has had to reinvent itself more than many others. The layers of its past are both visible and hidden, I have found it fascinating.

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

research

Since our earlier work on The Go-Between, we have been researching further into water, and have been following different threads whilst comiing together for works and filed trips

Wednesday, 31 October 2007

RETURN OF THE GO-BETWEEN'S - CONTINUUM FROM THE RHIEN/RHINE RETURN TO THE THAMES - 1ST NOVEMBER

The Go-Between's completed their intention by carrying water from the Rhine/Rhein to the Thames in Oxford on November 1st 2007. The return journey and mingling of the waters of both cities - in both cities brought with it a time of reflection concerning the work, its focus and possibilities for future actions. On the return journey we sat in adjoining seats with two people from England who were peace activists, who had for many years worked to highlight and make visible alternative possibilities to combat between nations in conflict. They created simple, peaceful actions that have become a mirror for societies to see themselves and reflect. As we carried our precious cargo of life giving waters across invisible boundaries, we mused on the subtle differences between countries constructed through human intervention. The rivers of Thames and Rhine/Rhein flow across borders created by human intervention, over millennia, merging with the salty waters of the collective sea. All waters once again beginning their transmogrification, becoming mist, cloud, steam, snow, rain and fog, soaking into and through the land and flowing towards the sea once more as rivers. Our action as Go-Between's carrying liquid in small delicate uncorked glass vials around our necks between Oxford and Bonn, accentuated the preciousness of the water that humanity seems to take so much for granted. The Go-Betweens have spoken since returning, of further actions of exchanging life giving waters, thinking about space, boundaries, being on the move and how we inhabit land. In remembrance that humans are carers of water; it is not ours, it is the ‘jewel’ most precious to all of life. photographer, Kay Sentance The Go-Betweens returned from their trip to Bonn, transporting water as fluid messengers from The Rhine/Rhein. The journey culminated in Oxford, where they deposited the water into The Thames. Witnesses were invited to walk and participate in the ritual and join The Go-Betweens in a silent walk, inviting communication through action and intention and overriding the need for oral communication. Through this ritual form of exchange and transfer, the artist’s see themselves as embodying their role of messenger as they Go-Between countries. These actions of ceremony, ritual, collection and exchange, explore how we honour water as a resource and raises questions concerning cross national connections, borders, space, place and language. The Go-Betweens invite you to witness this action. Join them at Magdalen Road Bridge, Oxford at 10.30am on Thursday November 1st, for a silent walk taking approximately one hour. 'The conversation of the gods!- I didn't resent or feel aggrieved because I couldn't understand it. I was the smallest of the planets, and I carried messages between them and I couldn't always understand that was in order, too; they were something in a foreign language - star talk' From The Go-Between LP Hartley

Sunday, 28 October 2007

GLIMPSES OF THE BONN WALK - THE FRAUEN MUSEUM TO THE RHINE AND RETURN

photography by: Diana Bell Hilary invites a friend who has lived in Bonn all her life on the silent walk. She tells us she has not heard Bonn in this way before. Those who witness, discuss the importance of water and the state of our environment. We think about the work in relation to water as a resource. We hear a new city in silence.

Saturday, 27 October 2007

TRAVERSING THE STREETS OF BONN

Sine our arrival in Bonn, we spent time trying to find our way into the walk to The Rhine from The Frauen Museum. Having a map helps but its more about feeling yourself into the walk, noticing things about the public spaces, seeing how it works for us and a walking group, what it sounds like, how you traverse traffic lights with a group walking behind you, how you work with the unfamiliar. The work starts to make more sense to us as we begin to move more towards a sense of exchanging waters rather than just carrying water. finding the way Outside the Frauen Museum, turn left, left again onto Heerstrasse, then immediate right onto Wolfstrasse, past pink geraniums, the wolf on the house front and the angels, past Peterstrasse, cross to Breitestrasse, then left and down to Schutzenstrasse, over the cobbles, then left past the french shop past the anarchist sign and art sign through the alley way to the lights, cross past the church and telephone box, past the building on the right with 5 yellow boxes, with one in each window, cross over at the lights down Wachsbleiche, along the wall past Beethoven building, then cross the road by the pigeons to the slip road down to the Rhine

Thursday, 25 October 2007

A VOYAGE TO BROBDINGNAG

second part of our travels On the 23rd October our journey from Oxford began with water from the Thames, we carried the water traveled through The UK, France, Belgium, finally arriving in Bonn after an eleven hour journey.

Monday, 22 October 2007

WE TRAVEL TO BONN TOMORROW - 23rd October 2007

CONSIDERING WALKING

How often do we walk in silence as a group - how often do we follow not knowing where we are going but having faith to go anyway, how often do we walk; our senses heightened by the changing time, how often do we walk slowly against the tide of the everyday speed of life, how often do we walk and consider, walk in simplicity, walk and see, walk our beginning and end as the same and travel through the in-between.

REQUEST TO THE GO-BETWEENS

Sunday, 21 October 2007

THE GO-BETWEENS BEGIN IN OXFORD - 19th October 2007

photography by: Hugh Macdonald Dressed in Lincoln green, staff in hand, we wait on Magdalen Bridge for the church clock to strike the hour of departure. As it sounds, we begin our walk towards the Thames. The gathered witnesses follow as we tread the High Street in our Mercury shoes. The busyness of the High Street highlights the slowness of our pace, highlights our intention, highlights our silent focus. We turn into Magpie Lane and the new and age old ceremonies of Oxford carry our action. Streets trod for centuries echo our foot fall, our silence allowing us to hear and see more clearly. Into Christ Church quod and across the meadow walking under the arching boughs of aged poplars while cattle graze the grass of this city centre meadow. Witnesses follow as we pass humans in everyday doings of walking and sitting talking time to feel the day. As we come to the water of the Thames, named the Isis here, we turn to walk with the flow of the river, it is brown and swollen after rain, and its body charges it speedily towards the open sea. Arriving at the site of ceremony we mark the alignment with the stars on the gritty path and then stand within the markings, aware now of heaven and earth. We fill our glass flasks with water from the moving body and turn to face the direction we will travel overland and the direction of the flowing waters. We will take this water to the Rhine where it flows through Oxford’s twin city Bonn. Carrying the liquid on cords around our necks, we leave the circle and return towards Magdalen Bridge, walking beside the Cherwell as it flows past us and into the Isis. We return to the busyness of the city, along Rose Street and finally to our starting point. We will repeat this action on October 26 in Bonn, when we will exchange the life giving waters and on November 1, when we return with the waters from the Rhine to the Isis.

Thursday, 18 October 2007

GO-BETWEENS BEGIN

On Friday we begin our journey meeting at Magdalen Bridge in Oxford to walk in silence to the Thames-Isis to collect water which we will carry to Bonn. During our research we were exhilarated to find that the Thames connection to the Rhine goes back to glacial times, when Britain was connected to Europe. During this period The Thames was a tributary of the River Rhine, probably flowing along a line slightly north of it current course through the Vale of St Albans, through Essex and across the low lying lands of the Rhine Estuary. In about 12,000 BC, temperatures slowly started to rise again, ice began to melt, sea levels rose and engulfed these low lying lands leaving a series of small marshy islands and a low ridge of firmer ground in the area we now call the Dogger Bank. In about 6,500 BC, the water of the North Sea finally rose over the Dogger Bank and broke through the remaining and broke through the remaining ridge of land between Kent and Northern France. The Straits of Dover were created and Britain became an island.

Monday, 15 October 2007

THE THAMES-ISIS MEETS THE CHERWELL

Oxford was built up around the meeting of the River Cherwell and River Thames, also called the Isis. Isis is a goddess in Egyptian mythology. She was most prominent mythologically as the wife and sister of Osiris and mother of Horus, and was worshipped as the archetypal wife and mother.

Thursday, 11 October 2007

THE GO-BETWEEN'S BEGIN THEIR JOURNEY SOON

To witness this action and participate in a silent walk for the Oxford part of the Go-Between. Meet at Magdalen Bridge, Oxford at 14.00 on Friday, 19th October, 2007 <> To witness this action and participate in a silent walk for the Bonn part of the Go-Between. Meet at the Frauenmuseum, where we will be leaving at 14.30 on Friday October 26, 2007, Frauenmuseum, Im Krausfeld 10 53111 Bonn The Go-Between will begin in Oxford, where we will collect water from the Thames in silence amongst fellow city dwellers, transporting the water as fluid messengers over land to Bonn. On arrival in the city of Bonn we will exchange the water of the Thames for the water of the Rhine. Thus the cities and their inhabitants will become part of an exchange of life giving water aided by the Go-Betweens. Inhabitants of Oxford and Bonn are invited to witness the ritual, inviting communication through action and intention, overriding the need for oral communication. The work will end when we return to Oxford and deposit the water from the Rhine into the Thames. Through this ritual form of exchange and transfer, we embody the role of messenger as we Go-Between countries. These actions, the collecting and exchanging of water between the two cities, raise questions concerning the notion of a cross national connections, encompassing the idea of the 'between space' of travel through countries' borders, land and language. 'The conversation of the gods!- I didn't resent or feel aggrieved because I couldn't understand it. I was the smallest of the planets, and I carried messages between them and I couldn't always understand that was in order, too; they were something in a foreign language - star talk' From The Go-Between LP Hartley.

Friday, 5 October 2007

MERCURY THE MESSENGER AND TRICKSTER

Mercury is the god of travel; often seen as the trickster and carrier of messages, his task is to act as a go-between. Hermes is the Greek version of the Winged Messenger, he devises a plan to steal to steal the herd of cows from his brother, by turning their hooves around, so that as he leads them away, their trail appears to be heading in the opposite direction, thus his reputation as the trickster is born. In The Go-Between we have developed shoes for walking which have had the heels transferred to the front of the shoes. As we travel over land to Bonn our feet will move forward, our shoes will leave prints as though they are already returning, masking the beginning and end of the action and creating a continuum. The realtionahip between The Rhine and the Thames Since approximately 600,000 years ago six major Ice Ages have occurred, in which sea level dropped 120 m, & much of the continental margins became exposed. In the Early Pleistocene, the Rhine followed a course to the northwest, through the present North Sea. During the so-called Elsterien glaciation (~420,000 yr BP, marine oxygen isotope stage 12) the northern part of the present North Sea was blocked by the ice, & a large lake developed that overflowed through the English Channel. This caused the Rhine's course to be diverted through the English Channel. Since then, during glacial times, the river mouth was located near Brest (France), & rivers like the Thames & the Seine became tributaries to the Rhine. During interglacials, when sea level rose to approximately the present level, the Rhine built a delta in what is now the Netherlands. At the end of the Pleistocene, the lower Rhine flowed roughly west through the Netherlands & then to the southwest, through the English Channel, & finally to the Atlantic Ocean. The English & Irish Channels, the Baltic Sea & the North Sea were still dry land, mainly because sea level was approximately 120 m lower than today. At about 5000 BC, flooding & erosion began to open the English Channel.

POINT A - POINT B - POINT C


View Larger Map point A - Oxford point B - Bonn
We will wear green We will carry water from the 2 rivers We will wear heels on the front of our shoes We will travel by train We will walk to the rivers We will invite others to follow We will observe and encounter we will enter 4 countries and we will return

Tuesday, 25 September 2007

research

The Go-Between was a project based on an ongoing dialogue, emerging out of the twinning of Oxford and Bonn. On hearing we would be showing work at The Frauenmuseum in Bonn; October 2007, we decided to use this starting point to examine the notion of exchange. We have collaborated on a number of projects in the past and favour working in non art spaces, often interfacing with the public. The journey to Bonn from Oxfordshire became the stage from which to develop the work. After reading the novel The Go-Between by L.P Hartley, we became involved in an exploration of the notion of the messenger. In the novel, a young boy called Leo becomes a secret "go-between" for Marian Maudsley and a nearby tenant farmer, Ted Burgess. This action of delivering and and exchange became the focus for the work.

The Go-Betweens have begun their journey

Hilary Kneale and Ann Rapstoff are artists who have collaborated on a number of projects since 2001. There current work entitled The Go-Between charts their journey between the cities of Oxford and Bonn, in which they explore journeys, walking, ritual and the exchange of water between The Thames and The Rhein/Rhine. The Go-Between was a developing project and part of ‘Umfeld-Inwelt’ (En-vironment, In-vironment) at The Frauenmuseum Bonn

Witnesses/participants were invited to join silent walks for the Oxford part of the Go-Between from Magdalen Bridge, Oxford at 14.00 on Friday, 19th October, 2007 <> To witness an action and ritual of collecting water. This continued with an overland journey to Germany and the dispersal of this water into the Rhein/Rhine in silence from the Frauenmuseum in Bonn; 14.30 on Friday October 26, 2007, Frauenmuseum, on Thursday November 1st, the The Go-Betweens returned overland to The Thames in Oxford to deposit the water from the Rhine and complete their journey.

Walk in silence with The Go-Betweens at any part of their journey, contact them here at the blog at anytime.

The Go-Between (Der Vermittler)

Hilary Kneale und Ann Rapstoff

Begleiten Sie die Künstlerinnen bei einem Gang vom Frauenmuseum, Aufbruch um 14.30 Uhr am Freitag, dem 26. Oktober (etwa 1 Std.)

Als Teil der aktuellen Ausstellung Umfeld < - > Inwelt im Frauenmuseum werden Hilary Kneale und Ann Rapstoff in Oxford beginnen. Sie werden Wasser von der Themse abfüllen, und dieses Wasser als flüssigen Boten über Land nach Bonn transportieren. Nach der Ankunft in Bonn werden sie das Wasser der Themse in zeremonieller Stille gegen Wasser des Rheins austauschen. Dadurch werden die Städte und ihre Einwohner Teil eines gegenseitigen Austausches von leblebensspendendem Wasser, unterstützt durch die Vermittler.

Die Einwohner von Oxford und Bonn sind eingeladen dem Ritual beizuwohnen, aufgefordert zu einladender Kommunikation durch Aktion und Intention und machen damit das Erfordernis nach mündlicher Kommunikation überflüssig. Die Arbeit endet, wenn sie nach Oxford zurückkehren und das Wasser des Rheins in die Themse einfüllen.

Interesting links

The Politics of water, on the world service; the US/Mexico border, Israel, Sweden/Russia/Baltic sea and Namibia

Enterchange performance and the environment

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