Elaine Clocherty｜潮之豐饒角 Tidal Cornucopia
Tidal Cornucopia 潮之豐饒角
Mud, on-site natural materials
Artist was inspired by an article about ‘sea women’ who would harvest the gelidium seaweed during low fishing season and a second article explaining how the heavy metals are being absorbed, accumulated in Kandelia obovata and further transferred to the food chain through deposit feeders such as the local fiddler crabs. Both stories relate to the water systems and their capacity to provide food. The work uses the properties of K. obovata from the Guandu wetland and gelidium seaweed from the sea to represent the mixing of the river and sea waters and to explore the tidal aspects of the Tamsui river system. It highlights both the reality of the toxicity of the river system as well as the rivers’ beauty, diversity and capacity to become a healthy food cornucopia again.
As a Site Specific Artist, Clocherty’s practice is process driven. She begins by investigating the history and ecological stories of the landscape. When collecting seaweed she found little there (compared to Australia), as it is actively used by the Taiwanese people. Clocherty was then led to the issue of coral loss along the coast and efforts to regrow it. The coral in the work represents the ocean’s tides but also the efforts being made by local people as they utilise science and technology while caring for this beautiful landscape. Whilst investigating the aboriginal people of Taiwan she discovered the importance of the diamond shape and as the opening of the Guandu Festival is during the ‘Month of Ghosts’ the work aims to make an offering to the ancient spirits where the river and ocean meet who may be unhappy with the present state of the environment and the ancestors of the Ketalagan people. The overall hope of the work is to combine contemporary and ancient, and create new ways of relating to this place.