fall of the derwent (2015–16), is an experiment in hydrographic publishing by artists Justy Phillips and Margaret Woodward, commissioned and presented by gasp (Glenorchy Art & Sculpture Park) Tasmania, as part of ‘Swimmable: Reading the River’.
In their ambitious hydrographic score, fall of the derwent (2016), Phillips and Woodward draw from the river(s) Derwent, a living organism that re-composes with every reading. Generated in response to the current Energy in Storage Levels of the River Derwent, each hydrographic score is completely unique. An invitation to move-with a marking, cutting, flooding deluge in the making.
Through a year-long process of research-creation that included in-depth archival research, walking, writing, making, recording and publishing, the artists entered into relation-with the river as living event. Over two recent summers, the artists walk from the sea to the source of two Rivers Derwent. First, they walk from Workington to Borrowdale (UK) and then from Blackmans Bay to leeawuleena (Tasmania). They encounter more than one namesake. And then comes the fall. Fall of the Derwent is an actual, mythical event in the making–already made felt. A moving blackwards. No less.