A work by Helen Mayer Harrison and Newton Harrison and the Harrison Studio & Associates Britain.
The installation addresses Global Warming from an artist’s perspective. The work proposes an alternative narrative about how people might withdraw as waters rise, what new forms of settlement might look life, and what content or properties a new landscape might have in response to the Global Warming phenomenon. It also demonstrates how a city might be defended.
This work was originally divided into four parts, with the fifth part designed and added for the Feldman Exhibition. Each part is a collaborative effort.
The installation is composed of a 13 foot long model of the island of Britain. Six projectors above it project the rivers rising in response to storm surge and coastal waters rising in 2 meter increments, up to 16 meters. One key element in this work responds to the fact that the waters will rise gracefully, posing the questions, “How might one withdraw with equal grace?” and “How might one defend against the ocean’s rise?”
There is a 10-minute 3-voice audio narration, which begins with “The news is not good and it’s getting worse.” And ends with
“Finally understanding that the news is neither good nor bad
it is simply that great differences are upon us
that great changes are upon us as a culture
whether we will it or not
and great changes are upon all planetry life systems
and the news is really about how we meet these changes
and are transformed by them
On the Upward Movement of People: A New Pennine Village. Made in collaboration with the Land Planning Group at Sheffield University, the design proposes a 9,000-person village where the land around it is ecosystemically redesigned to absorb the local carbon footprint of the village through the use of forest and meadow.
In Defense of the city of Bristol. A three-minute video that proposes a defense and salvation for the city of Bristol through unusual use of the Avon River and the Avon Gorge.
The Lea Valley: On the Upward Movement of Planning (in collaboration with APG architects) takes issue with the existing development of the Thames estuary, which the model shows is covered by water, and proposes redesigning the l,000-square mile Lea Valley watershed, while at the same time suggesting how approximately one million people might be housed in ecologically provident high-rise structures with solar power, stilts, and hanging gardens, while enhancing the water supplies of London.
On Eco-civility: The Vertical Promenade (in collaboration with ATOPIA). Wherein the civil, social, and economic virtues embedded in a small town main street become the basis of design for a 150-story, 5,000-person, vertically-designed town, based on the concept of settlement, where ecosystemic thinking drives design as opposed to typical development models. The collaboration with Atopia was completed 2009. The work associates with Greenhouse Britain if part of a serpentine of structures through the Lea Valley, or as a stand alone work.
Greenhouse Britain was exhibited in 5 venues:
-Centre for Contemporary Art and the Natural World
-London Wildlife Trust Annual Conference
-Darwin Festival, Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery
-Holden Gallery, Manchester Metropolitan University
-Knowle West Media Centre
-Ronald Feldman Fine Arts
Where: GREAT BRITAIN
Associate Artist: David Haley
Designer: Gabriel Harrison with Vera
Producer: Chris Fremantle
Scientist: Dr. Robert Nicholls
Contributors: Professor Paul Selman &
Students APG/AIM Architects
A DEFRA grant funded the production of this exhibition. Research on the Lea Valley supported by a Bright Sparks grant.
For additional text and images from the exhibition see:
Click Here to read the text “On Ecocivility and On Structure.”