The intention of this website is to serve as an online exhibition space for the work “Greenhouse Britain” 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 nothing less than an alternate narrative about how people might withdraw as waters rise, what new forms of settlement might look like and what content, or properties a new cultural landscape might have in response to the Global Warming phenomenon. It also demonstrates how a city at risk might be defended.
As the website will demonstrate, this work is divided into 4 parts.
Part One: A 8’X16’ precise topographical model of the island of Britain with 6 projectors above it. The projectors above it show waters slowly rising, storm surges happening and then the waters retreating. There is a 10-minute text spoken in 3 voices that creates a narrative synchronized with the rising of waters.
Part Two: Text and image with a proposal for the Lea Valley drain basin. It expresses how people might withdraw and what they might withdraw into, were waters to rise up the Thames and Lea Valley River basins.
Part Three: A second design for the upward movement of people takes the form of villages in the Pennine region. The landscape and the village are designed together to create a carbon-sequestering environment.
Part Four: A large image is projected on the wall showing the city of Bristol and the Avon gorge. The waters rise, a dam protects the city. As the waters rise even further, the Avon River is diverted into a new place in the Severn estuary which saves the city of Bristol from flooding.
A DEFRA grant funded the production of this exhibition. Research on the Lea Valley was supported by a Bright Sparks grant. Although help was offered by many, the Harrison Studio wishes to offer special thanks to Dr. Robert Nicholls of the Tyndall Centre, who guided the Global Warming research and Professor Paul Selman of Sheffield University, who put together the group that helped design the Pennine village.