The Pond is a collection of films exploring the creation and development of a garden pond.

The 2 year project sprang from a sense of wonder at watching the astonishing results of performing a simple act; it became a lens through which I re-examined my relationship with the natural world.
The Pond reflects on our place on the earth as dealing with the climate becomes the most important challenge we face. The work responds to eco-anxiety and climate despair by drawing away from the big, frightening catastrophic picture, instead focusing on a small, important but often overlooked space accessible to us all.

During the first UK lockdown in Spring 2020, I dug a pond on my allotment to encourage pollinating insects and frogs and toads. Before I knew it the little circle of water was alive with tiny creatures, both above and beneath the surface.

The transformation amazed me, so I researched freshwater ponds and found that they are the most common and widespread habitat for all plants and animals on Earth. They are far richer in species than rivers, streams and lakes, and have a disproportionately large capacity to bury organic carbon compared to other habitat types, such as woodlands or grasslands.

During the past century, nearly 70 percent of ponds have been lost from the UK countryside.

I dug a completely new pool in late autumn 2020 and found that the mercurial canvas it offered provided me with endless opportunities for filming with various cameras and sound equipment from above and beneath the surface. To restrict myself, I created a series of 30 second ‘pond portraits’, inspired by the short format films of Samson Kambalu.

In the summer of 2021, I staged a 24-hour Pond Watch, recording the pond for a day and a night. I created many films from the footage following the 24-hour time progression. For exhibition though, I chose the extreme close ups shot during the hours of darkness with underwater lights. Four ten-minute edits were projected wall-sized onto each of the walls of a blacked-out room with seating and a soundscape, attempting to immerse the viewer into pond world and time.

For a second exhibition I reflected on the materiality of the work. The stark difference between the man made, plastic, metal, technology-based materials I use to record and edit films and the naturality of the pond and its inhabitants. I began considering the feel, smell, sound and taste of the water. Imagining how tadpoles or flies would feel on my skin, or how it would feel to be a wriggling tadpole or a tiny snail.

I also thought about what I would say to the pond if I was able. I wrote an earnest letter to the pond which culminated in an apology to the natural world.

Dear Pond, was an installation born from these considerations. With projectors suspended from the ceiling of the blacked-out room, a series of three circular films were projected onto low square floor plinths.

Ancestral playfully placed my image, shrunk to the size of a pond snail, in the pond; with Sorry I absurdly attempted to communicate with the pond, impossibly trying to say ‘sorry’ underwater. Just Gaze completed the triptych, simply presenting the sublime loveliness of unedited footage.

The 24-month experience changed my relationship with myself and the natural world. The project provides testimony to how ecologically beneficial and sensorially beautiful a simple act can be, hopefully illustrating that everyone and each individual act counts in the move towards a more harmonious planetary future.

My sincere hope is that the project will be contagious.

The Pond Project

Dear Pond Audio Visual Installation: A triptych of circular floor projected films.

The Pond Installation: A 4 x wall projected immersive audio-visual installation

24 Hour Pond Watch

In July 2021 I sat with and recorded the pond for a day and a night.

Pond Portraits

A series of 30 second pond ‘portraits’ created in 2020-2022

Chronicling the Pond

A collection of films exploring the development of the pond

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