Ali Hutchinson
lighthouse / Bidston Observatory / strains / sky in the union jack / the care taker / exoskeleton / hope + resolute / rime / chandelier / contact / statement /

Stalactites from poetry / installation / St George's Hall

Stalactites from axed wooden crates, torch, brake light tape
March 2017

Site specific temporary installation and performance in St George's Hall basement and old prison.

I axed Chinese wooden crates, given to me by workmen laying paving slabs over where I had buried a poem, in the entrance to the Hilton, into shards. Stuck into the central heating system of St Georges Hall basement, the many shards made a cave of stalactites from poetry.

Using a cheap torch covered in car brake light tape, I silently guided visitors gaze like a caving guide. The effect was startling, people staying for 20 minutes watching the light slowly expose the stalactites. In this strange space people also confessed secrets.

At the time in chronic pain, axing many pieces and sticking them in the ceiling was both meditative and a physical challenge. Creating a cave from poetry meant that in pain I could create a space from my mountaineering upbringing that I felt I could never visit.

The piece is highly site specific and temporary, growing from spending time in and observing the space.

The full title is a piece of writing by Kim Seymour describing an origin of the piece, as strains of light growing through the ceiling to rescue an imprisoned water gypsy.