Fall of the Derwent

2015 - 2017

Fall of the Derwent is a performance, publication and experiment in hydrographic publishing, commissioned and presented as part of Swimmable! Reading the River.

This five-part fictiōnella by Phillips and Woodward also includes: Black Market Symposium (2017), Fall of the Derwent (2016), A river settles its own cairns underwater (2016) and Walking the River(s) Derwent (2015–16).

For Swimmable!, Phillips and Woodward composed a participatory score. Approaching the River Derwent at Elwick Bay as a living organism of flows, metabolisms and exchange, this project invites GASP visitors to experience the river beyond the Bay’s boundaries by drawing into experience its imperceptible unrecordings – physical, poetic, real and imagined. During the course of the project, the artists made their ongoing research available throughout the year via social media updates and public events. Think small gestures: tributaries, catchment and flow.

Through a year-long process of research/creation that included in-depth archival research, writing, making, recording and publishing, the artists entered into a relation with the river as a living event. In the northern summer of 2015, Phillips and Woodward then experienced the fictive cartographies of the River(s) Derwent by twining and twinning the River Derwent in Cumbria, England, encountering more than one namesake; the force of which they can’t leave behind.

Download Fall of the Derwent: a hydrographic score, by scanning the site-specific QR Code at Wilkinson’s Point or by visiting the project website: www.fallofthederwent.net

Justy Phillips is an artist, writer and publisher. From the jaws of a captive polar bear in a Mexican zoo to the slow moving ice floes of central Iceland, Phillips lives in relation-with the world through a process of research-creation she refers to as fictiōneering – the speculative eventing of living experience. Activating fictiō, the Latin root of fiction – meaning ‘to make-with’ rather than ‘to make up’ – Phillips uses fictiōneering to compose-with language at the interstices of body, duration and event. A graduate of the Royal College of Art, London, Phillips moved to Australia in 2004, developing her art practice through text-based eventing and limited-edition publishing. In 2015, she was awarded her PhD, Scoreography: Compose-with a hole in the heart! from RMIT University, Melbourne. 

Margaret Woodward is a co-founder and leader of the Creative Regions Lab at Charles Sturt University and an international researcher in regional creative industries. Her creative practice investigates the interplay between tourism, design and cultural geography and how designed artefacts frame understandings of landscape and national identity. Woodward has recently undertaken an international residency in Reykjavik, Iceland in which she investigated comparisons between Tasmania and Iceland through ‘fictive cartography’. Her ongoing investigations through souvenirs and cartography includes: Tourism Telemetry (2010 –), Remote Sensing: Sensing The Remote (2012) and The Sea is All Around Us, Melbourne (2015).

Curated by: Pippa Dickson & Jonathan Kimberley

Photos: Stuart Gibson

Related links:

From GASP FB page
Fall of the Derwent
CSU - news item:
Experimental art project explores two Derwent Rivers
Download hydrographic score here
CSU - Abstract
Research Outputs: Fall of the Derwent
From GASP FB - Mercury article
Fall of the Derwent Mercury 12/12/16
Show More

This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body, and through Arts Tasmania by the Minister for the Arts.

With thanks to:

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info (at) gasp.org.au

PO Box 4541, Hobart TAS 7010

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