For almost 300 years Bath's beautiful canal has been opened and closed, neglected and repaired, ferried travellers and goods, and all the while it has drifted quietly on, collecting stories. Floating down the water, slowly rising and falling with the levels of the city through its six locks whilst fully immersed in the historic landscape, is a thought-provoking and contemplative experience - one that makes you to slow down and really notice your surroundings.
Now imagine if, within each lock, there were something to read to pass the time; something transforming as the water levels change: a glimpse of the powerful history and ideas that the canal holds.
The project I am proposing is for the installation of six “transforming” poems within each of the Bath locks. Each poem is designed to be hidden under the upper waterline of the lock until it's emptied. The poem is then revealed line by line, and with each additional line the poem takes on new meaning. These poems will be pressure-washed through a stencil onto the wall of the lock chamber - a process that is both natural and environmentally friendly, lifting away a layer of dirt to leave a clean imprint of the letters on the brick. The method has been approved and tested by myself and a team from the Canal and River Trust.
The only thing left to do is to make it happen - and that's where you come in.
The cost of installation currently stands at roughly £300 per lock, though this may go down depending on the specific sizing of the stencils and where they are cut. Thanks to the incredible generosity of those who have already donated and supported the project, the first installation and pilot for the full route went ahead on 24th September 2018 and is now visible in Bath Top Lock (13). Please do go and take a look if you're nearby! I am hoping to raise enough money to fund the remaining five poems in time for Summer 2019.
I hope you will consider donating to help me in this creative community endeavor.
Thanks for reading,