Emily Hawes is based in Bournemouth and works with choreography, sculptural assemblage and poetry. Hawes’s practice involves site-specific research, attentive surveying processes and is characterised by a strong participatory dimension, often grounded within an ecological sensibility.
these supple waters has been reconfigured for MK Gallery. It was originally commissioned by The Old Waterworks, Southend-on-Sea during the artist’s 2019 residency. The work resulted from the artist’s investigations of conservation projects, ecological sites, estuarine communities and industrial histories along the Thames and Blackwater estuaries. Historically, the estuaries in Essex have been used as dumping grounds for the city’s waste, resulting in a "toxic cocktail" of refuse material. More recently, these sites have ceased taking landfill and have been as declared areas of scientific interest due to their complex toxicity.
The video incorporates footage shot in Southend during the residency and documentation of a choreographic workshop Hawes developed with dance artist Marta Ammendola at Pavilion Dance South West in June 2019. Using material gathered from the residency, such as passages of text, video & field recordings, the work responds to the estuarine landscapes and suggests the slow secretion of a toxic landscape, presenting the body as intermeshed and porous.