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Hear the sea...

This island nation remains curiously enamoured, perhaps mildly obsessed, with water, although the relationship is increasingly ambivalent.  In spite of the fact that 72% of the UK’s population visit the coast each year a recent survey by Natural England suggests that English people think our waters are full of terror, polluted and unwelcoming.  We like to observe our seas and rivers, we might even lounge in the sun by them, but increasingly we are afraid to encounter the waters directly and it seems like only our children swim any more.

In contemporary culture water retains many negative associations and primal fear of what lies beneath the surface is manifest in contemporary fables. One of the most enduring myths of water is of man-eating sharks originated by films like the seminal Jaws and reinforced by sensationalist media manifestations; Great White shark sightings off Cornwall reported in the tabloids and perennial documentaries showing the semi-circular scars of shark attack. Even at a microscopic level, cryptosporidium and campylobacter discourage a population brought up in the chlorinated fumes of the local indoor pool from entering the water and consuming ultra-expensive bottled water as the only “safe” water to drink.

Immersion is a contemporary art project using the arts, sciences, and recreational and leisure activities to promote awareness and develop better understanding of both the ecological and social importance of water environments.  Set within the hydrological cycle of Dartmoor, the project comprises two main strands, and a number of public outputs.


The Project

We are currently re-scoping the project, so please check back later.



The Marine Institute (University of Plymouth)
National Marine Aquarium, Plymouth
Dartmoor National Park
Childs + Sulzmann (Architects)
RANE - University College Falmouth






last updated: 23-Aug-2011 10:12

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