temporary sediment storage

Edinburgh College of Art MA Contemporary Art Practice Graduate Show


Sat 20 - Tue 23 August 2022 – 10.00am – 4.00pm
Wed 24 – Thurs 25 August 2022 – 10.00am – 8.00pm
Fri 26 August 2022 – 10.00am – 4.00pm


The murky ochre liquid that spills through temporary sediment storage (in a plastic tank which will inevitably leak, melting in cubes, condensing on slumped glass) is collected from the drainage of a disused coal mine that runs onto a Northumberland beach through to the ocean. As the tide changes each day, pools of the ochre sediment merge with salty currents in ever varying dilutions and configurations, sedimenting on any organic or waste material it finds on the way. Although the toxic levels of metals in ochres themselves pose a risk to aquatic life, this sediment can also act as a remediation material for other contaminants such as Selenium, which is at particularly high levels in Northumberland coal. A semi-metal trace element that is usually hard to separate from the sulphides or organic matter it is fixed with, Selenium is used in e-tech for solar cells and in nanotechnology for anti-inflammation and anti-infection treatments. In this acidic stream, it becomes unusually fluid until it is bound with the fine-powdered ochre sediment. A toxic element of historic extraction becomes commodity and another potential cycle of extraction begins.

12l water tank, acid mine drainage with hydrous ferric oxide deposit collected from disused coal mine, Spittal beach, Northumberland, flexi tub, sand cast glass from 3d scan of tube worm fossil, lamp shape wire, rubber cast with heat-sensitive pigment, surplus green vapour barrier, brushed steel stand, black clamps, green marine sediment fertiliser in ice cube freezer bag, waste rubber fragment with hydrous ferric oxide deposit, aluminium folded box, agar bioplastic, soap-cast fused kelp roots, frozen acid mine drainage in ice cube freezer bag, orange extention lead, pebbledash rocks (spat out from pebbledash filled base of trees, Grassmarket, Edinburgh), cardboard and aluminium spool, glazed ceramic bowl, waste beach plastic, hydrous ferric oxide deposit, slumped glass sheet, aluminium box, liquid collected from sand dune swamp, humidifier. Cardboard packaging, vacuum storage bags, ceramic slip-cast rubber doormat waste fragment, lampshade wire.

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