Final Major Project – Project Development Research – 30th January 2019

Roni Horn – Another Water

This project was a very good insight into how art can represent troubles of the human existence. It raised thoughts that I hadn’t considered about water before but it also confirmed some of the thoughts that I had considered when working on my own work.

When using water in my own work, I think of the depth of water and how this can refer to the depth of emotion or the depth of my own anxieties and depression. When you look out to sea right out to the horizon, it seems never-ending, just like the feelings that come with low mood, it can also feel it is never going to end. The crashing of the waves or the bubbling of the tide coming in is how an anxiety attack can hit you and how it can bubble in your throat, with the feeling of suffocation or drowning.

As a person with mental health issues there are occasions where I have experience of this feeling of drowning. it feels like you aren’t going to make it back to the surface and be able to breathe again – but with the techniques that I have learnt, I now know that the water can help to get these feelings to go away, listening to the rhythm of the water actually assists me to breathe again.

However it is this feeling of drowning that is the link between my work and Horn’s

Horn focuses on the darkness of the water and the actions of dark forces that allow suicide to happen.

Horn’s images remain very dark and whilst this is the nature of many mental health issues and of course it is the dark thoughts that can lead an individual to suicide. I don’t want my work to go down this particular route, so whilst there are some dark images in my project, I want to also include the light as I want to ensure that there is a visible route to recovery and I want others to feel that there is hope.

An element that I did find very emotional with Horn’s work was each report of an individuals suicide, this put the images into context. Some individuals don’t find the light, some do succumb to the depths, to the darkness. Whilst not by drowning I personally have experience of losing people who have been taken into the darkness, also linked to struggling with their mental health, and perhaps this is also why this project is so important to me.

All of Horn’s imagery focused on the surface of the River Thames, however I am very keen to bring some seascapes to show scale, whilst I understand that Horn probable did this as it was this body of water that was her specific interest – with my work I felt it important to show the large scale of how big the problem is but also the more focused images to show how it feels for me.

Horn’s work has assisted me to see how I can use text alongside my imagery to achieve a successful outcome for my project.

References:

Horn, R. (2011). Another water. Göttingen: Steidl

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