Tag Archives: Tania Kovats

Larsen’s Lost Water

Larsen’s Lost Water, timed to coincide with the United Nation’s Climate Change Summit in Paris, takes its name from Antarctica’s Larsen Ice Shelf. In 2002, part of this vast Shelf fell into the sea. The satellite images of this happening brought global warming and melting Polar ice into the public consciousness. But what happened to this melted water?

The exhibition considers how relatively uncharted parts of the world – the Polar regions and the deep seas – might be (mis)represented, and how art can offer us a way to engage with and witness something as large and difficult to grasp as climate change or marine pollution. The exhibition is open 13 November – 11 December 2015 at Wimbledon Space, Wimbledon College of Arts, and is curated by Edwina fitzPatrick. The Opening Event will be on Thursday 12 November, 5–8pm.

The show includes pieces such as Bryndis Snaebjornsdottir and Mark Wilson’s nanoq: flat out and bluesome, which archives the taxidermied polar bears in the UK’s public and private collections; Tania Kovats’ Where Seas Meet; Lucy + Jorge Orta’s Ortawater project about potable water; and Heather Ackroyd and Dan Harvey’s Crystal Fish. The centrepiece of the exhibition is an ocean-going raft designed and created by a team of Wimbledon students collectively named the ‘Raftonauts’.

Top image: Worcester, Snaebjornsdottir & WIlson

Evaporation, by Tania Kovats

Internationally acclaimed artist Tania Kovats (Course Director of MA Drawing at Wimbledon) explores the significance of our relationship with water and the world’s seas and oceans in a brand new sculptural work ‘Evaporation’, the second in the annual Cape Farewell ‘Lovelock Art Commission’.

Taking James Lovelock’s Gaia theory – of the earth as an interconnected super organism – as her starting point, Kovats’ exquisite new sculptural piece explores global bodies of water and their crucial role as signifiers of climate change.

Comprised of large metal bowls reflecting the shape of the world’s oceans lifted from the globe. Each bowl contains a solution of salt and blue ink that gradually evaporates in a hydro-cycle, leaving a jewel-like crust of salt crystals in concentric rings. This will be an object with its own tides; different each time a viewer sees it.

Alongside this work is ‘All the Seas’, hundreds of glass bottles containing water from each of the planet’s 200+ seas. This installation has been created with the help of a global network of people drawn in by the desire to bring all the waters of the world to one place.

Kovats- all-the-seas

All the Seas, by Tania Kovats

Throughout the exhibition water will continue to be added to the work, as the 36 remaining seas are collected for this striking and thought-provoking piece. Follow the hashtag #TheSeaStories to find out about new samples as they come in.

BBC Proms ‘Gaia’ Composer Jonathan Dove will also bring world premiere of new composition ‘The Wave’ to this installation on the 25th October – a choral and instrumental piece responding to the work working with musicians from the Royal Northern College of Music.

On the evening of the 24th October at 7pm within the gallery space will be a wonderful in-conversation event between Kovats and Dove, led by leading Oceanographer Dr. Simon Boxall

Lovelock’s work focuses much attention on the significance of the planets’ oceans as a barometer of its health. As global sea temperatures rise and the impact of pollution is becoming increasingly clear, this work is more vital than ever. Evaporation opens the Manchester Science Festival 2015.

The exhibition is part of ArtCOP21. More information can be found online about other ArtCOP21 events and exhibitions.


Twitter @art_cop21

Top image: Evaporation, by Tania Kovats

The Olympics Drawn: Study Afternoon

Shortly before the opening event for The Olympics Drawn at Wimbledon Space, there will be the opportunity to delve into some of the stories that have been unearthed while researching artefacts for the exhibition. This study afternoon for The Olympics Drawn brings together scholars of drawing, designers involved in the delivery of the games and researchers. The panel, consisting of curator Dr Joanne O’Hara, Kevin Owens, Professor Stephen Farthing and Tania Kovats, will discuss how drawing informed the planning and orchestration of the London 2012 Olympics. It will be chaired by Angela Brew, CCW PhD candidate, on 9 October, 3-4:30pm, in the Theatre at Wimbledon College of Arts.

Owens, the former design principal for LOCOG (the Local Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games), was crucial in the planning and delivery of all aspects of the built environment. He was heavily involved in decision-making processes throughout the organisation of the Games and, as an architect, drawing formed a key part of his work. Owens was responsible for commissioning and reviewing each of the permanent and temporary designs and it was his job to oversee thousands of drawings made by a range of designers from different specialties. A number of his own drawings can be seen in the exhibition, and this study afternoon will provide the opportunity to hear first-hand from one of Games’ executives.

Farthing, Rootstein Hopkins UAL Chair of Drawing, who conceived of the idea The Olympics Drawn, has been instrumental in steering the project to completion. Since the commencement of this project, Farthing’s vision has been inspirational, and some of the issues surrounding the wider themes of the project – including the communicative and expressive power of drawing, and its evolution over time – will be discussed. For example – what would this project have looked like had it begun alongside the first Olympic Games? What will it continue to look like in the future? He may also explore the issues which link the project with the charting of taste, national identity and the development of drawing processes.

Kovats, Course Director for MA Drawing at Wimbledon College of Arts, will be able to help the panel understand the project within the wider realm of the world of drawing and join the dots on all of the panel’s thought processes. Her work focuses on drawing and mapping landscapes as well as describing or using geological processes in the making of both sculpture and drawings. Much of Kovats’s research has focused on geology, to further understand how landscapes are formed, exclusive of humanity’s effects upon them.

O’Hara is looking forward to the panel discussion and exhibition, as the culmination of her 2 year post-doctoral research fellowship. ‘As the researcher on the ground, I will be able to share some of my stories about the practicalities of the project and how we brought it all together. We will hopefully tease out some of the interesting stories, while considering such issues as where the drawings fit into the wider processes of design and production, and also the main issue I faced which was searching archives and portfolios and tracking mystery caches of drawings!

We also hope to hear on the day from some of the contributors to the exhibition who will be able to go into more detail about their own work, potentially spanning numerous disciplines and providing an amazing insight into some of the inner workings of the drawings shown in the exhibition.’

Image credit: Charlie Cobb, concept drawing of the Olympic Opening Ceremony (2011)

Practising (in) Uncertainty

The geographer Kathryn Yusoff has posed a timely question. ‘What knowledge becomes useful to us in a time of abrupt climate change? How can we creatively practice towards such uncertainty?’*

If artists are meant to ‘make sense of radically ambiguous situations and move forward in the face of uncertainty’** then this implies an acceptance of being lost as both methodology and practice. The colloquium explores what happens when practice  (as in a habitual action or repeated exercise) and practise (as in being experienced in, or currently active and engaged with) collide with the unknown. What happens when habitual practices becomes challenged by uncertainty and risk?

Practising (in) Uncertainty is a colloquium which focuses on the uncertain processes of making, the unpredictable contexts that this work is presented in, and the uncertainties about how audiences might engage with projects which engage with our (mis)understandings of biodiversity, landscape or site. It involves prominent national and international artists who have adopted strategies to Practise (in) Uncertainty, including Justin Carter, David Cross (Cornford and Cross),  Heather Ackroyd (Ackroyd & Harvey), Edwina fitzPatrick and Tania Kovats. They share their insights in both Glasgow and London, as the event will take place through live links at both venues.

The colloquium, convened by Edwina fitzPatrick, is open to everyone.

To attend at Chelsea, click here.

To attend at Glasgow, click here.


* Yusoff, K., ed. (2008). Bipolar. London: The Arts Catalyst. p. 6

** Oakley, K., Sperry, B. & Pratt. A.C. (2008). The art of innovation: How fine arts graduates contribute to innovation. London, NESTA. p.14