Pondskater

Installation, #1 2015, #2 2019

Steel, 3 x digital films (looped)

Metalwork: Michael Sanders

 

 

Pondskater is a three wide-screen video installation, using footage filmed in Lithuania. In its first iteration, the installation comprised an unpainted steel structure in a configuration of three 1:3 ratio rear-projection screens, set at 120 degree angles to each other. The work was reconfigured for an exhibition in Suzhou, China, in 2019: utilising 3 large flat screen TV screens, angled slightly to one another. Pondskater is the common name of an insect of the family Gerridae, which skates over ponds and other bodies of relatively still water. You repeatedly see these creatures in the films, but the name also refers to the improvised filming device constructed from found materials: aluminium tubing, plastic water bottles, an old rusty bicycle wheel, an old sheet, string and a pack of assorted cable ties. The bicycle wheel enables the device to float with the three camera lenses at approximately water level. The three 120 degree angles HD cameras, mounted at the ends of the aluminium tubes facing outwards, provide a full 360 degree panorama. The device is entirely dependent upon its own propulsion, provided by the impromptu sail. It is launched like a child’s toy sailing boat, with a push, then left to the whims of the wind, slowly drifting across the pond until it finally gets entangled within the reeds that line the perimeter of the pond. This process is repeated at three different times of the day – dawn, midday and dusk.