25th September 2018 - 21st October 2018
'Deluge' is a multi-partnered interdisciplinary research project and exhibition that explores the consequences of 'a deluge of globalisation' by alluding to global contexts through a local lens. Globalisation and urbanisation are drivers of climate change. For the collaboration and exhibition with Fotonow in Plymouth, Ingham focuses on coal, copper, and the sea as interconnected objects that were instrumental in leading to global industrialisation as we know it today.
Ingham is interested in how Swansea’s ‘Copperopolis’ anchored this process; how the maritime trade of copper, mined in Cornwall and Devon, shipped, smelted and refined in Swansea using coal from the South Wales valleys, laid the foundations for our present day global shipping and communications networks. Her research process for 'Deluge' includes reconstructing journeys between South Wales and South West England, taking coal and copper across road, sea, and cyberspace to recreate these global movements of commodities and peoples. The global ramifications, or ‘ripple’ of these relationships are further explored in the her short artists film ‘Are You Ready (Can You Hear Me?)’ based on Marconi’s first successful telegraphic communications across the South Wales and South West waters.
Working with climate scientist Prof Mary Gagen of Swansea University Ingham takes the 3 degree world hypothesis – that it only takes global warming of up to 3 degree C for many of the worlds cities and coastal areas to be flooded – as the basis for a series of copper prints, which include areas of the South Wales and the South West coastline most at threat of ‘deluge’. Using Swansea Bay seawater and Cornish and Devon copper she has created a series of images that allude to this global scenario. Images are printed directly onto copper before being subjected to a process of gradual patination, the images becoming incrementally eroded and abstracted by the build up of the blue and green sea water patina. Some of the images are fixed but others continue to deteriorate and erode until ‘the patinated sea’ completely overwhelms the image.
As part of the public engagement activities for 'Deluge', Ingham has been running photographic ‘Deep Mapping’ workshops for ex-copper workers, their descendants, and Vivian descendants and discussions are underway to hold a Deep mapping workshop in Plymouth.
Deluge is supported by Arts Council Wales & Arts Council England and between May and September different iterations of the exhibition will show at Craft In The Bay in Cardiff Bay, The National Park Coastal Gallery (Oriel y Parc) in St Davids, Milford Haven Museum and Galley (with Milford Haven Port Authority), and Swansea Waterfront Museum, before culminating in a final comprehensive exhibition in Plymouth with Fotonow as part of Plymouth Art Weekender 2018 (and thanks to support from Arts Council England).
Prof. Karen Ingham is an internationally exhibited and published interdisciplinary artist. She is an Honorary Fellow at Swansea University and Honorary Interdisciplinary Research Fellow at Swansea College of Art UWTSD.
Opening event during launch of Plymouth Art Weekender
6pm-9pm on Friday 28th September 2018