Tim Barlow Open Source Water Well, 2019
Laminate wood, hessian, bioplastic, mixed media. 4000 x 2500 x 2200 mm.
In his book Elixir author Brian Fagan suggests we are entering the ‘third age of water’. He claims that as ancient acquifers run dry humans will need to develop a new environmental ethos in partnership with water. We may even need to rediscover a special reverence or sacred relationship towards water.
Waiheke Island faces the potential impacts of climate change, extreme weather events and water shortages that other Pacific Island nations are having to deal with now and into the future. This sculpture explores how water and aesthetic ecosystems might collide in the future to create a new water ethos.
Tim Barlow has been creating sculptures and installations at the intersection of aesthetics and ethics, water and community since 1994. For Sculpture on the Gulf 2019 he has created a Waiheke Island inspired ‘water-well’ to suggest a way to reimagine the poetics of water with the ‘rights of nature’.
Born in Wellington. Lives and works on the Kapiti Coast.
Tim Barlow’s sculptural work includes a selection of everyday architectural structures such as; fountains, milk-bars, street-stalls and shelters. He creates these as ‘open structures’ or platforms where other voices and participants can have their say.
Recently he has worked with Wellington public art commissioners Letting Space on several projects including, The Public Fountain, for the Taupo Erupt festival in 2012 and TEZA New Brighton (Transitional economic zone of Aotearoa) 2013 and TEZA Porirua 2015. Other public art and community based projects include Elbe’s milkbar for the Dowse Common Ground festival in 2015, the Wainuiomata Water festival of 2015 and Nui (2016) for the Dowse exhibition Suburban Dreams (2016).
In 2017 he completed a practice based PhD in Fine Art from Massey University Wellington with his thesis titled Caring deception; community art in the suburbs of Aotearoa (NZ).