Graveyard of Lost Species

An ambitious collaborative project and public monument by artists YoHa and Critical Art Ensemble in partnership with Arts Catalyst

The Graveyard of Lost Species is a temporary public monument, created from a local wreck, the Souvenir - a 40ft 12 ton Thames Bawley fishing boat, which was reclaimed from the estuary mud. With the names of varied "lost species" (flora, fauna, occupations, words) from the estuary laser carved onto the boat’s surface and interior, she was sailed back and installed on the Leigh marshes as a part of the local landscape.

 

During 2015 and 2016, the artists led a set of enquiries with people in Leigh-on-Sea and Southend to gather local knowledge of and expertise about "lost species" - wildlife, marine creatures, livelihoods, fishing methods, landmarks and local dialects that once flourished in the Estuary and are now disappearing. Working with local craftsmen, the artists then laser cut the lost species into the vessel’s surface.

The project is intended to act as a monument to Leigh’s past and future, as well as uncovering and highlighting local knowledge about the changing ecology, society and industry of the Thames estuary.

The artwork is dedicated to the people of Leigh and Southend.

Graveyard of Lost Species is part of 'Wrecked on The Intertidal Zone', an art and citizen science project that uncovers and highlights local knowledge about the changing ecology, society and industry of the Thames estuary. Artists YoHa, Critical Art Ensemble, Andy Freeman and Fran Gallardo, with The Arts Catalyst, are collaborating with local people in Southend and Leigh-on-Sea.

See the Wrecked website for videos and artists updates:

 

The Artists

 
Graveyard of Lost Species is led by artist group YoHa, Graham Harwood and Matsuko Yokokoji, who have worked together since 1994 and are local Leigh-on-Sea residents. YoHa's polemical vision and technical tinkering has powered several celebrated collaborations, establishing an international reputation for pioneering critical art and socially engaged projects. Harwood and Yokokoji co-founded the pioneering artists’ group Mongrel (1996-2007) and established the MediaShed, a free-media lab (2005-2008), which reached international fame through its film ‘Duallists’ shown at over 30 film festivals around the world.
 

Critical Art Ensemble undertook a residency in Leigh-on-Sea, building on research from two previous visits, working alongside Yoha on Lost Species. Since 1987, Critical Art Ensemble has explored the intersections between art, critical theory and political activism. Projects have included recreating historical bio-warfare experiments off the coast of Scotland; setting up a lab in a gallery to reverse engineer genetically modified seeds; and planting endangered flowers on public lands and urban social space threatened by property developers.

Funders and Supporters

This project is supported by The Arts Council England and Arts Catalyst. Many thanks to Leigh Town Council, Southend Borough Council, Metal (Southend) and Belton Way Small Craft Club with advice from Natural England and Essex Wildlife Trust.
 
 
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Exhibition
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Talking Dirty: Tongue First! Experiments at the Mouth of the Thames

Calling people of Essex join us for a Southend tongue first experimentation and citizen science workshops!

'Talking Dirty: Tongue First!' is a series of public events involving local foods, their source, preparation and consumption, leading to a recipe book produced in collaboration with the situated knowledge of South Essex people, containing instructions for cooking with estuary ingredients: from Thames fish to back garden elderflower cordial.

Through public, cooking and eating workshops in Leigh-on-Sea, we will create public tastings that explore environmental change. Alongside these tastings, citizen science workshops will investigate the traces of waste disposal on the 'unnatural' nature reserve of Two Tree Island in Leigh-on-Sea.

The project is led by local Southend artists Fran Gallardo, YoHa and Andy Freeman with environmental chemist and food scientist Mark Scrimshaw.

The citizen science workshops will involve using digital and mobile technologies to investigate the legacy of generations of industrial use (and misuse) in the estuary landscape.

Talking Dirty is part of Wrecked on The Intertidal Zone, an art and citizen science project that will uncover and highlight local knowledge about the changing ecology, society and industry of the Thames estuary. Artists YoHa, Critical Art Ensemble, Andy Freeman and Fran Gallardo, with The Arts Catalyst, are collaborating with local people in Southend and Leigh-on-Sea.

See the project website for more information: http://www.tonguefirst.com/

Public Events & Workshops:

Open Jamming at Leigh-on-Sea Maritime Festival. Come one, come all!
Date: Sunday 2 August 2015, 11am – 4pm

Location: Victoria Wharf, Leigh-on-Sea, Southend
Booking: No booking required
Join local artists Fran Gallardo and YoHa at Leigh-on-Sea's annual Maritime Festival. You will find us somewhere among the sea shanties and Maldon oysters. We encourage you to bring berries and edible flowers samples from your garden, park or elsewhere to create an 'Open Jamming' (please bring the postcode as well). We will prepare jam, cordials and other seasonal cocktails on which you can choose from where berries have the sweetest earthy taste, which elderberries tickle your tongue the most, and create collective jam and cordials!
PS: We would love to hear about your recipes using local ingredients
Fluids and Mud Science (citizen science workshop 1)

Date: Saturday 15 August 2015, 10am – 5pm
Meeting Point: Fishermens Chapel, New Road, Leigh-on-Sea, SS9

Booking: please email admin@artscatalyst.org
Investigate Two Tree Island in this day workshop led by Andy Freeman with Two Tree scientific expert Dr Mark Scrimshaw (Reader in Environmental Chemistry at Brunel University) to explore the use of scientific testing outdoors. Participants will learn about and make observations of a range of gases and contaminants found in the air and water in the Thames estuary using testing kits. Observations will be geotagged using mobile phones and then uploaded to a custom digital map of the locality and shared online.
Wildlife and Not So Wild Life (citizen science workshop 2)

Date: Saturday 22 August 2015, 10am – 5pm

Meeting Point: Fishermens Chapel, New Road, Leigh-on-Sea, SS9

Booking: please email admin@artscatalyst.org 
Andy Freeman and Mark Scrimshaw with local reserves manager Marc Outten (Essex Wildlife Trust) lead this workshop, which will bring together wild life spotting, digital technologies and scientific testing of the elements. Get to know your fellow organisms, animals and local inhabitants of this complex nature reserve, including the people and industries that surround it.
Public Tasting: Explore your Tongue

Date: Sunday 30 August 2015, 7pm - 8pm)
Location: High Street, Belton Way Beach, Leigh-on-Sea, Southend (follow the railway line along High Street towards the cockle sheds)
Fran Gallardo will lead an open air cooking experiment for using local ingredients (menu released on the day). Fran will present intriguing recipes that represent and re-imagine webs of connections between gastronomy and ecology within many environments: from human microbiomes, eels, fungi, geese, ships, landfills and human-made islands. Come and taste, smell and dive into the sensorial experience of the estuary and all its complex delicacies!


Leigh Regatta: Chachacha with Local Ingredients

Date: Sunday 20 September 2015, 10.30am – 5pm

Location: High Street, Belton Way Beach, Leigh-on-Sea, Southend (follow the railway line along High Street towards the cockle sheds)
Before Autumn sets in, the artists and The Arts Catalyst will present one more chance for a tongue first exploration. Come and join us for a sensory undressing of the estuary where you can try a mixture of ingredients collected and prepared from the estuary! Artist Andy Freeman will be conducting scientific testing of local edible plants and food between 2pm - 4pm. Please drop by!

Artists Residency: Tongue First Research Centre

Date: January 2016 (exact dates announced soon)

Location: The Arts Catalyst, 74-76 Cromer Street, London WC1H 8DR

Fran Gallardo will lead a week long residency at the Arts Catalyst's Centre for Art, Science and Technology. Further details announced in September.
 
Talking Dirty is supported by a Wellcome Trust People Award, Arts Council England and Leigh Town Council.
 Many thanks to the Institute of Environmental, Health and Societies (Brunel University), Belton Way Small Craft Club, BioHackspace LondonEssex Wildlife Trust, Natural England, Leigh Marina Secure Measures Ltd., Southend Council and Metal (Southend).
 
Please note we do not encourage large groups of people foraging or collecting plants from local areas along the estuary. The Two Tree Island is considered a Site of Specific Scientific Interest (see https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/natural-england) and is a National Nature Reserve (see  http://www.essexwt.org.uk/reserves/two-tree-island) where wildlife is not to be disturbed.   
 
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Holoturian

A new commission by Ariel Guzik for Edinburgh Art Festival 2015. ‘Holoturian’ is an underwater resonance instrument designed by Guzik to communicate with whales and dolphins in the deep seas.

This new work is commissioned and produced by Arts Catalyst with Edinburgh Art Festival 2015.

For the last 10 years, the artist, musician, illustrator and inventor Ariel Guzik has searched for a way to communicate with whales and dolphins. Guzik’s project has encompassed the creation of underwater instruments, expeditions to contact whales and dolphins off the coasts of Baja California, Costa Rica and Scotland, sound recordings, and numerous fantastical drawings of this cetacean civilisation and underwater ships and gardens.

Guzik’s extraordinary vision is to build a manned underwater ship – the Narcisa - with the intention of enabling encounters between humans and cetaceans as inhabitants of parallel civilisations, free from hierarchies or intentions of domination or subordination, and devoid of utilitarian or practical research interests.

Commissioned by Arts Catalyst and Edinburgh Art Festival 2015, his new project brings the artist closer to his goal. For this show, his first exhibition in the UK, Guzik is constructing a beautiful capsule, the Holoturian, designed to send a living plant and a string instrument for a period of time into the depths of the sea. Imagined and re-imagined in extraordinary drawings made by Guzik over the past decade, this ship has instrumentation, which expresses life, space, harmony and brightness as primary messages, and is dedicated to sperm whales and other deep ocean creatures. 

The installation is part of Edinburgh Art Festival's 2015 commissions programme, presenting new work by leading Scottish and international emerging and established contemporary artists, and will be displayed at Edinburgh’s gothic kirk Trinity Apse.

The following events have now passed.
Location: Trinity Apse, Chalmers Close, 42 High St, EH1 1SS

Sat 1 August 2015, 11.30am
Ariel Guzik in conversation with environmental scientist and campaigner, Mark Simmonds OBE, chaired by Art Catalyst Director, Nicola Triscott.

Sat 1 August 2015, 7pm
Field recordings by Nature Expression and Resonance Research Laboratory Soundscape and performance by Ariel Guzik, Alejandro Colinas and Emilio Galvez.
A unique opportunity to hear Mexican artist Ariel Guzik perform live in a specially devised set combining electronic music with field recordings of whales and dolphins.

Soundscape and performance by Ariel Guzik, Alejandro Colinas and Emilio Galvez Field recordings by Nature Expression and Resonance Research Laboratory


'Holoturian’ is commissioned and produced by Arts Catalyst with Edinburgh Art Festival 2015.

Ariel Guzik is supported by Wellcome Trust, British Council, EventScotland, Museums Galleries Edinburgh, Arts Council England and the following Mexican institutions, as part of The Year of Mexico in the UK 2015: the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (SRE) through the Mexican Agency of International Cooperation for Development (AMEXCID), the National Council for Culture and the Arts (CONACULTA), the National Institute of Fine Arts (INBA), and The Anglo Mexican Foundation.

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Navigators in the Playground of Possibility

The third in a series of Science on Stage workshops, director Ruth Ben Tovim led this week-long workshop at Jackson's Lane

 

Do changing perceptions of how the universe is shaped affect our relationship to the world? Does the purported death of the grande narrative, render conventional story-telling forms meaningless to contemporary audiences?
These were questions addressed by this week of workshops involving scientists and theatre artists, organised by Arts Catalyst and Louder than Words Productions.
Chaos theorist Paul Redfern and cosmologist Pedro Ferreira from Imperial College discussed their search for philosophical answers as well as purely empirical solutions, offering through their work a vocabulary of ideas and terminology to stimular the artist's imagination: strange attractors, absent presences, curved space and fault-lines called 'strings' across the universe.
Louder Than Words' Ruth Ben Tovim led the week with the aim of drawing on the structures of scientific theories to make theatre, rather than trying to convey the content of science. Navigators prompted an investigation into non-linear narratives. 
Although the work produced at the end of the week deliberately left content out, by the end of the week participants realised that there was a desire for the narrative of science as well as structure. 
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Sterile / Sensei Ichi-Go

A two part commission by Revital Cohen and Tuur Van Balen


Sterile
Albino goldfish engineered to hatch without reproductive organs. They were not conceived as animals but made as objects, unable to partake in the biological cycle. An edition of 45 goldfish was produced for the artists by Professor Yamaha Etsuro in his laboratory in Hokkaido, Japan, following an intricate collaboration process which began in 2011.

Commissioned by Arts Catalyst and Schering Stiftung. With thanks to Professor Yamaha Etsuro, Kimura Sizuo, Kyoko Tachibana, Dr Rachel Rodman, Michiko Nitta, Charles Duffy, Arron Smith, Oliver Coles, Leon Eckert, Hannah Fasching.

Sensei Ichi-Go
A machine capable of producing sterile goldfish in an automated reenactment of Yamaha-Sensei’s movements and actions. Physically articulating this fabrication process, its mechanisation allows for the standardisation of both sequence and animal. A contraption with its own (dormant) choreography, the machine is an assembly line, a printer, a puppet master, a potential.

Commissioned by Arts Catalyst and Schering Stiftung. With thanks to Professor Yamaha Etsuro, Kimura Sizuo, Kyoko Tachibana, Ben Ditzen, Frank Verkade.

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