'Surface Tensions' art event at Llanthony Secunda Priory
By David Wood
Llanthony Secunda Priory in Gloucester is hosting a free art installation event, created by local artist Simon Ryder.
'Surface Tensions' , which features multi-media installations, takes place at the historic site across the canal from Gloucester Quays from May 28-30.
The event is part of the 'Llanthropology' Project, which offers Art and Activities at Llanthony Secunda Priory, supported by a grant from Historic England.
The free activities are supporting local people to get inspired and reconnect post-lockdown. 'Surface Tensions' was originally designed for the National Trust's Mottisfont Abbey, but due to Covid-19 delays it has a special preview at Llanthony Secunda Priory in Gloucester, the artist's home city.
'Surface Tensions - the Llanthony Secunda Preview' is an immersive sound-light-video-VR installation by Simon Ryder, with creative technologist Nathanial Mason. Presented in four movements - Bedrock, Stream, Air and Land - it combines a specially commissioned soundtrack by Bartholomew Mason with 3D scanning, VR fly-tying and underwater photography.
Surface Tensions celebrates the life of F.M. Halford, father of modern dry-fly fishing. It was at Mottisfont Abbey, situated on the banks of the River Test in Hampshire, that Halford fully realised his revolutionary fishing techniques (1905-13). The Test, one of only 200 chalk streams in the world, flows with crystal clear water filtered through the chalk aquifers beneath the South Downs, providing a unique habitat for aquatic life.
Today the stretch of river used by Halford, the Oakley Beat, is a magnet to anglers from around the world. Through the use of traditional chalk drawing and VR technology, Surface Tensions explores our relationship to waterways and the art/sport of angling - whether that is eel fishing on the Severn, bank fishing on the Sharpness canal or fly-fishing on the Test - and asks how these might adapt to the challenges of climate breakdown.
Llanthony's project curator Stefanie van Stokkom explained: 'We're really looking forward to hosting this unique event, and show that historic sites like Llanthony Secunda are not just a window to the past, but inspiring places for the present too.
"Covid-19 measures will be in place to make sure that these art installations can be safely enjoyed by all visitors.'
'Surface Tensions' will have a special evening opening on Friday, May 28, 6pm-9pm, including live VR drawing performance and music, and will continue on Saturday 29 and Sunday 30 May from 11am to 4pm.
In line with Covid-19 regulations, and to manage attendance numbers, visitors are asked to book their free tickets for the event in advance.
Details about the event and a link to book the free tickets can be found on the 'Surface Tensions webpage: https://llanthonysecunda.org/surface-tensions/
More information about the Llanthropology project, including dates and booking links, can be found on Llanthony Secunda Priory's website: https://llanthonysecunda.org/events/
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