Nor Any Drop To Drink

Canterbury’s Sidney Cooper Gallery is one I overlook all too often, unforgivably. It’s a single room – well, a single room with a small room with a screen, situated on the high street at the west station end of town. I guess because it is so close, and so small, I don’t make the same kind of effort as I have with, say, Mascall’s Gallery at a school in Paddock Wood.

 

Still, I’ve seen a number of interesting shows over the years there, and Louise Bourgeois is coming up. (Colour me sceptical though as I like her sculptures and her narratives, but her drawings are a little bit “I’m-art-because-I’m-drawn-by-an-artist”.)

 

The current exhibition, which ends Saturday, is Tania Kovats, whose work I saw either at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park or Jupiter Land. File under sculpture, the work I saw before was a number of glass bottles of water from rivers around Britain, in a boathouse Iver a lake. The work here is similar – several hundred bottles of water from all the seas of the world. Ther is a laminated list of the bottles, and it’s notable, having crowd sourced the collection, that some seas are more popular than others. There is clearly a row of North Sea samples – although the rackage prevents you from being clear which is which, short of a methological counting. On the face of it, sea water is sea water is sea water, although the is clearly some settlement in some of the containers. The Dead Sea didn’t stand out. The obsessive in me would like to se a chemical analysis of the water – salt concentration and trace elements….

 

Meanwhile le there are a number of sculptures of layers, dramatising the impact of pressure upon stratification and relations of basalt. Perhaps the most striking is a slack and White coicture that is abstract in nature, and I suspect the impact of salt water on something, but I didn’t note down what. There’s a short film, uncredited but I’m guessing the work of Ben Rowley.

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