“River Quiver” – Turning the Pages

Turning the Pages is a marriage of environment, community, art and science. The project focuses on raising the awareness and the appreciation of the Pages River in the Upper Hunter Valley, with the long term aim of creating a nature walk with a permanent artwork along the river and supporting the river restoration and rehabilitation process. It hopes to foster a greater love and care for our river and a creative imaginative engagement with the broader environment.

Turning the Pages is an ongoing project that has begun this year with art and science workshops in five local schools. In science workshops at school the students looked at the shape and course of the river.

They learnt about the river’s energy and on a trip to the river analysed its health identifying insects and water flow. Further workshops involved drawing, painting, dance, music, creative writing and sculpture making – all focussed on the Pages River.

River Quiver Project & Installation – June to November 2007

River Quiver is a major environmental wind responsive artwork made by 180 children from five local schools designed and coordinated by artists from the Jennifer Turpin Studio in Sydney.

180 Lightweight translucent sculptures representing the creatures that’swim’ and ‘fly’ in the Pages are counterbalanced on bamboo hangers that tilt and flutter in the breeze. Working in pairs the children have learnt about balance, lightness, form, structure and move­ment.

Together they have experienced the creation of a large kinetic artwork that moves to the rhythm of the wind. Along its length are echoes of a river soundscape, water noises recorded by the children and coordinated by local artist Rodney Swansborough.

The supporting ‘hangers’ are constructed from the bamboo giant reed weed that overgrows the banks of the Pages. The sculptures are made from recycled yellow materials.

The introduction of black materials on the river side of River Quiver signifies introduced species whilst sculptures without black repre­sent native species.

Evoking the’Balance of Nature’ in its form and function, the sculptures and their bamboo hangers make up the 120 metre long River Quiver. Tilting and pivoting, floating and quivering this artwork is a dancing performance inspired by the creatures that inhabit the river and orchestrated by the wind of the day.

River Quiver Images