WATER SWALLOWS is a new sonic artwork for Buxton, made by artist Amy Sharrocks and sound designer Tom Hackley in collaboration with local people. The artwork looks at our landscape of water and the experience of living here, wandering through the sounds of rain and rivers as well as through the ethics of water and the negotiation of natural resources. It is presented as a sound walk through Pavilion Gardens, and roams through a landscape of springs and reservoirs, through prehistoric, roman and celtic histories and modern day lived experience. Begun in an age of climate change and at the very moment when Toddbrook Reservoir was threatening to burst its banks and engulf Whaley Bridge, WATER SWALLOWS understands what it is like to be overwhelmed. It takes its name from a local quarry, an industrial site which has been re-purposed as a lake, and the title references our daily ritual of swallowing water, our changing land use and agreements as well as the threat of climate change that hangs over all of our heads.
WATER SWALLOWS is available to experience from the Pump Room all year for free – you can pick up a headset at any point until September 30, 2020 to take the sound work for a walk. An extraordinary pedestal cabinet has been made by Buxton artist Sarah Brindley as an unusual housing for this binaural sound work, in a new collaboration.
The artwork was made possible by a grant from the Arts Council, made with many thanks to the Buxton Crescent Heritage Trust and BEAM Arts, Liz Mackenzie, Louis Cross, Cora Glass, Sue Boulton, Sarah Brindley, Amanda Cirillo, Mohamed El Fatih, Alison Hunter, Brian Lutchmiah, Rob Robinson, India Rushton, Katherine Rushton, Karin Sheldon, Ros Westwood MBE and many other people in Buxton and Derbyshire.