River becomes an artist’s ikon

April 27, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

By Martin Graham

The artist fetches the water from the Clyde

THE GLASGOW International festival of visual art has thrown up some unusual treats.
From Jeremy Deller’s ‘Sacrilege’ (the bouncy Stonehenge at Glasgow Green) to the “tiramisu” inside GOMA, playful and unusual work has provided unexpected delights for art lovers.
One of the more unusual “happenings” took place beside the Clyde, and even brought the river into the work.
“Keening Luna” by Glasgow artist Douglas Morland took place at high tide beside the Victoria Bridge opposite the sheriff court.
A group of female singers, all dressed in black, performed a tone poem, their voices rising and falling, creating an eery atmosphere.
Morland himself began conducting the choir, but soon clambered out on to a platform to draw water directly from the river.
He repeatedly threw down buckets on ropes to gather water from the Clyde. The river water was then poured into a large fishbowl. The water will be kept for a future performance. And then the singing was done and the performance was over.

Douglas explained that the work was inspired by the moon. He said: “As a child at night, I often wondered what would happen if the moon were to simply just disappear. One thing I did know was that it would affect the tides in some way or other.”

The Glasgow International festival continues until May 7.


The choir sings to the moon.