14 Apr 2019
PORTHCRESSA BEACH, ST MARY’S, ISLES OF SCILLY
A new participatory artwork by Katie Paterson to be choreographed over British Summer Time 2019
First There is a Mountain is a new artwork by Katie Paterson that connects the public to the world’s diverse mountains ranges. Touring from 31 Mar – 27 Oct 2019, the project involves the creation of a set of ‘buckets and spades’ in the form of world mountains, from which the public will be invited to build mountains of sand across the UK coastline and play out the world’s natural geography against a series of tidal times.
The artwork will tour to 25 coastal venues around the UK, who will each stage a sand pail building event on their local beach. Participants will sculpt beaches into thousands of mountains of sand to form micro-geologies.
Each pail is a scale model of five of Earth’s mountains: Mount Kilimanjaro (Africa), Mount Shasta (USA), Mount Fuji (Asia), Stromboli (Europe), and Uluru (Oceania), are nested together. Paterson carefully selected each mountain range via exacting research, using data from NASA’s Shuttle Radar Topography Mission and the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency. The sand pails are made from 100% fermented plant starch and are fully bio-compostable. At the end of the tour, they will be composted, reabsorbing back into the natural environment from which they were created.
Katie Paterson (born 1981, Scotland) is widely regarded as one of the leading artists of her generation. Collaborating with scientists and researchers across the world, Paterson’s projects consider our place on Earth in the context of geological time and change. Her artworks make use of sophisticated technologies and specialist expertise to stage intimate, poetic and philosophical engagements between people and their natural environment. Combining a Romantic sensibility with a research-based approach, conceptual rigour and coolly minimalist presentation, her work collapses the distance between the viewer and the most distant edges of time and the cosmos.
Katie Paterson has exhibited internationally, from London to New York, Berlin to Seoul, and her works have been included in major exhibitions including Hayward Gallery, Tate Britain, Kunsthalle Wien, MCA Sydney, Guggenheim Museum New York, FRAC Franche-Comté, The Art Institute of Chicago and The Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh. She was winner of the Visual Arts category of the 2014 South Bank Awards, and is an Honorary Fellow of Edinburgh University.
First There is a Mountain is supported by the National Lottery through Creative Scotland and Arts Council England.
Production: Elizabeth Newell in collaboration with Siobhan Maguire at Katie Paterson Studio.