The film installation Sunk Island consists of a series of monitors, including a central larger screen showing a 12-minute film, surrounded by 4 smaller screens showing shorter film loops. The work content is drawn from archival maps, images and footage, studio still image sequences and film and stills shot in and around Sunk Island over the course of 3 years.
This land is a wonder of historically engineered land, reclaimed from the water of the Humber estuary, and is a markedly flat territory, filled with reed beds, waterways and field after field of wheat. This alluvially rich land was created by a lengthy process of tidal water trapping and consequent anchoring of the sediment that dropped from the stilled water. Over time, layer upon layer of sediment, purged of its salt by successive specific plantings such as samphire and sea purslane would finally create solid ground.
Lost and won again, Sunk Island reflects the historic actions of our control of water; dykes, sluices, retained tidewater, silt layers, and transitory terra firma. Lost places, evidenced by traces detected by LiDAR and marked by willows, such as the long lost Burstall Abbey, and passing colonies, some evolving and some transplanted, both human and animal, illustrate how water affects constant change, creating a commonality of experience borne from encountering the same dynamic forces of the rivers and estuary. The shifting geographical boundaries of Sunk Island create a truly liminal, ever-changing, dynamic and potentially deadly environment. This place embodies the notion of the transitory, enveloped with something of the uncanny, with its lack of distant history and temporary, man-made nature, and fated to inevitably disappear again.
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