utopia:dystopia is an ambitious series of exhibitions and events curated by Geoff Dunlop and Sophie Erin for Fringe Arts Bath during 2016. This creative initiative is inspired by the 500th anniversary of the publication of Utopia, Thomas More’s reflections on the idea of an ideal society. Since 1516, the year of Utopia’s release, the world has witnessed countless attempts to establish a perfectly ordered community, in reality as well as in print. Yet the frequent outcome of such ambitions has been the decay of Utopia into Dystopia. From no-place to bad-place. In modern times the two concepts seem inseparable.
I will be showing pieces from a new body of work ‘Cofio | Remember’. The work pays homage to the rallying cry of Welsh nationalism ‘Cofio Tryweryn’. This remembers the flooding of Twyweryn valley in 1965 to create a reservoir to provide water for the city of Liverpool.
Walking under electricity pylons in the Severn Estuary during a very foggy Autumn day, at times you could see no more than twenty metres in front of you. You could however hear the buzz of electricity. ‘Cofio | Remember’ re-imagines the purpose of the pylons, in that they are not in fact carrying electricity but instead transporting light, i.e. away from the area to somewhere else. It imagines a dystopian future when a communities light is taken from one area to provide light for another. With water becoming the new oil, whose to say light might not become the new water?
28 May until 12 June (10am – 6pm)
Walcot Gate, off Walcot Street
Bath BA1 5UG