Focal Point Gallery is pleased to present our annual Railway Bridge Commission on Southend high street with a new temporary site-specific public artwork by artist, curator and researcher Angela YT Chan, in partnership with the Catchment to Coast Flood and Coastal Resilience Innovation Programme (FCRIP) project, led by Southend City Council. The artist will create two banner sized artworks that will wrap both sides of the bridge, focusing on six different sites covered by the project across upper, middle, and lower hydraulic catchments, which encompass areas like woodlands, allotment sites, domestic gardens, and section of coastline.
Chan’s artwork responds to the innovative nature-based solutions offered through this project that will work cumulatively to sustainably manage water across whole hydraulic catchment areas. These will improve flood resilience, whether this be due to periods of heavy rainfall or periods of drought. Nature-based solutions will also be used to improve protection of stretches of coastline in both Southend and Thurrock where historic landfill sites are located. Hydro-citizenship will play a large role in delivering these measures across the catchments, giving the community the opportunity to get involved in the design, implementation and evaluation of these innovative measures. Hydro-citizenship is being water smart as an individual and within your community, reducing pressure on the local sewage system and the risk of flooding in local neighbourhoods.
Each location will use a unique combination of nature-based solutions, such as leaky dams and bespoke rainwater capture to be re-used as part of soil and landscape management techniques. In addition, a series of flood warning beacons will be installed to improve warnings to community, so they are better prepared to respond and recover. Visually mapping these sites through playful digital collage and illustration, the artist will take us through Southend’s varied landscapes that are facing the impacts of our changing climate. In particular, the artworks explore the timelines and activities of pioneering, nature-based solutions that relate to how we take care of land, public and private, and how we improve resilience from flooding and coastal erosion.