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Fathoming hidden flows in a new Somerset House exhibition

Posted: 06-Feb-2018

Somerset House Studios artist Eloise Hawser and HR Wallingford’s UK Ship Simulation Manager, Rob Body, with the River Thames simulation which is part of a new exhibition

Somerset House is taking its close relationship with the River Thames as the starting point for a new exhibition which opened to the public on 31 January 2018 in its Studios by London’s Victoria Embankment. Created by resident artist, Eloise Hawser, ‘By the deep, by the mark’ aims to take you on a journey to discover liquid flows that are not only hidden below the city, but that are also found inside the human body. Visitors can explore sculptures, audio visual displays, medical hardware and materials sourced from archives, including a 3D visual simulation of the River Thames created by HR Wallingford for the Tideway Project.

The exhibition brings together maps, models and measurements of the River Thames, juxtaposed with specialist machines which are used to calibrate medical imaging equipment and analyse fluid dynamics within the body, drawing parallels between extraordinary feats of civil engineering and the intricate inner workings of the human body. One fascinating aspect of the exhibition involves looking at the evolution of London’s sewage systems, from Joseph Bazalgette’s 19th century sewer system to the ongoing Thames Tideway ‘Super Sewer’ project, and charting attempts at different periods in time to reclaim the Thames as a space for leisure, as opposed to industry.

Dr Mark McBride, HR Wallingford’s Ships Group Manager, said: “We have been fascinated to see ‘By the deep, by the mark’ develop, and delighted to be able to play a part in it. HR Wallingford has been modelling the Tidal Thames for many years, – the Thames Barrier was one of our longest running studies -, and the Thames remains an important focus of our work.“

Entry to the  Traitors' Gate.  HR Wallingford’s River Thames simulation includes fine details to provide visual clues for vessel masters.

The exhibition is the result of nearly two years of research and artistic production by Eloise during her residence at Somerset Studios.

Mark added: “Our contribution to the exhibition centres on sections of a detailed virtual reality simulation we have created for the Tideway Project of the River Thames at our UK Ship Simulation Centre. Vessel masters are being assessed using the simulator to ensure they meet Tideway’s health and safety standards. All the vessels masters have a detailed knowledge of the river which allows them to use relatively small features along the river as prompts and markers, and visitors to the exhibition will be able to spot the fine detail in our simulation, which includes marker posts, the Traitors’ Gate on the Tower of London, and even the features on the undersides of the bridges, including London Bridge.”

'By the deep, by the mark', which is free to visit, is open until 22 April 2018.

 

 

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