Leverhulme ‘Artist in Residence’ grant

The Artist in Residence appointed was Antony Lyons, an independent artist-researcher, with an international status as a practitioner in the field of environmental art. Dr Owain Jones was responsible for overseeing the residency.

The residency project was entitled ‘Sabrina Dreaming (Severn Estuary Tidelands)’ Most rivers have sacred personifications – in the form of tutelary deities. For the River Severn, this is ‘Sabrina’, or ‘Hafren’ in Welsh]. The project sought to expand and deepen the ways in which water landscapes are encountered and understood – scientifically, artistically and socially.

Layers of industry, agriculture, vegetation, soil, rock and water make up the territory of the Severn Estuary. Cultural layers of prehistory, history and story and myth are enduring sources of conjecture. All of these – together with the human and non-human communities – fuse to form the ecology of the estuary, which has the second-largest tidal range in the world. This residency project initiated new conversations and involvements by developing film/sound/music-based artworks, extracting some of the hidden and intangible essences of this water landscape.

As Artist In Residence, Antony Lyons also drew on his own extensive previous work on water environment themes (pollution, climate-change, biodiversity, working water communities etc.), and link into CCRI research streams relating to ecosystem services, water/food security, landscape and community issues.

The residency was for a period of ten months, starting on the 1st January 2014

Antony’s project was reported in the summer edition (2014) of Severn Tidings (see page 6).

More about Antony Lyons: As an independent artist with a background in environmental/geo-sciences and landscape design, many of his projects are concerned with the linkages between ecological processes, environmental change and cultural activities. Areas of particular focus include water environments, deep-time (geological) perspectives, routes/journeys and intangible cultures. Antony’s research and production methods rely on open-ended creative fieldwork and experimental remixing of archives, recordings, data and contemporary narratives – explored in the context of both ‘slow’ and ‘intensive’ artist-residency. Resulting works include sculpture, film, sound and intermedia installation – addressing tensions, traces, transitions and environmental justice. He is currently developing a long-term project, supported by Arts Council England, titled ‘Submerged (Drowned Lands)’. This brings together scenarios of rising coastal waters and the intentional submergence of lands by constructed dams/reservoirs.