Northamptonshire has stepped up to the starting blocks to take London on in its monopoly of Olympic glory, with the Flow series of site- specific art installations taking to the area’s waterways this month.
Flow is part of the East Midlands Igniting Ambition Festival, a Cultural Olympiad programme which invest in projects inspired by the London 2012 Olympics.
Led by Northamptonshire County Council, it will see installations cropping up across several locations in the county including the Grand Union and Oxford Canals and the River Nene.
The first commission arrives courtesy of environmental artist Steve Messam. Entitled Nene Nine, Messam’s work is a series of nine large spires, reflecting Northamptonshire’s ’quaint reputation as the county of ‘spires and squires’.
Jo Fairfax’s 180 degrees of Light and will see the creation of a giant laser triangle in the night air connecting three water towers, which will also be illuminated with glowing LED lighting.
From October, Charles Monkhouse’s Sywell Echo will take to the water, which explores the chequered history of the Sywell Reservoir, from its controversial construction to its mourned demise in 1979.
The piece will re-draw the hidden geography of the reservoir using 160 LED lights, which will float ion the surface to reflect the old waterways and boundaries that can still be traced in the beds of the old streams.
Photos, videos, audio and text on the Flow website will document new artworks daily, featuring an interactive map and sounds including the anserine call of a flock of geese, and a ‘passing reed cutter.’
Flow is the flagship event within this year’s Igniting Ambition Festival which runs from Apri – Octover 2011. See the website for more details.