Action Art for a Dying World

A collaborative art project by Quin de la Mer & Marius Ritual.

We are making place related artwork across England and Wales at locations on the front lines for climate change events.

Part 1: Corbridge

Our first stop, Corbridge, UK, highlights the beauty and wonder of this Tyneside village, and the human and more than human inhabitants that are immediately effected by rising water levels. This was an amazing project. Beauty is truly a warrior dispelling disparity, giving hope, and instilling courage to act.

Process & Media:

Moving image, new media, and sound art by Marius Ritual.

Process and Media:

Cyanotype on paper by Quin de la Mer, 30 feet long by 4.5 feet wide, 15 January 2022. We set the paper by the riverbank at dawn and rolled it up at dusk. It received all the winter light the day had to give. Dogs and birds played on the paper too. Quin’s footprints tell the human story – once humans walked in harmony with our earth community; today we tread over it without consideration or respect. Can we ever return to interconnection with our global ecosystem?

Process and Media:

Black & White sustainable photography by Quin de la Mer, Toy cameras: Holga 120N and Ilford Sprite, caffenol development process, negatives scanned to create digital files.

Part 2: The Journey

Cyanotype prints on cotton rag paper created on location in Barmouth Wales, (48) 10×10″, rare earth magnets, 2022.

Cyanotype prints on cotton muslin created on location in Tynemouth, River Thames – London, Barmouth & Fairbourne – Wales, Liverpool, Holy Island-Lindisfarne, 155x210cm, steel, rare earth magnets, 2022.

Each print was made on location in collaboration with the more than human inhabitants residing there. I placed the treated fabric and paper at the waters edge during low tide and asked the question, What is your experience of the Anthropocene? The visual communication began at once as water ebbed and flowed taking the fabric with it. Wind lifted bits into the air and set them down in different places creating overlaps and folds. Cloud coverage moved quickly effecting the intensity of UV light interacting with the light sensitive chemistry the fabric had been soaked in. Color changes occurred depending on the health of the water and earth. Tynemouth and Holy Island were healthy ecosystems and the blue colors are deep and rich, whereas River Thames and Liverpool were extremely polluted which changed the blue color to murky blues and greens.

Each expression is so unique; their voices so rich. Subtle details and large generous strokes of emotion would be impossible to create alone in a studio setting. Only in collaboration with the more than human beings could this work come into being.