Gaia theory: Tania Kovats’ Evaporation makes art of the health of our oceans

Art is arguably at its most effective when it reflects the pressing issues affecting the world. So it's all the more poignant that artist Tania Kovats’ new installation at the Manchester Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI), Evaporation, has climate change at its heart.

An art installation in the Manchester Museum of Science and Industry. 'Evaporation' is written in all caps on a white board.
Tania Kovats’ new installation at the Manchester Museum of Science and Industry, Evaporation, explores ecological issues via two evocative pieces. Photography courtesy of the Museum of Science and Industry, Manchester
(Image credit: The Museum of Science and Industry, Manchester)

Art is arguably at its most effective when it reflects the pressing issues affecting the world. So it's all the more poignant that artist Tania Kovats’ new installation at the Manchester Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI) (opens in new tab), Evaporation, has climate change at its heart.

Opened last week as part of the global festival on climate change, ARTCOP21 (opens in new tab), Evaporation features three bowls containing solutions of salt and blue ink, which evaporate over time. This leaves behind a crust of salt crystals in concentric rings, mimicking the tides of the Earth: every time someone sees it, the ‘waves’ will have changed. Featured alongside this work is All the Sea, featuring glass bottles of water collected from the Earth’s 200+ seas by a global network of people determined to have these water sources collected in one place.

The project is the second to be facilitated by the ecologically-minded arts association Cape Farewell’s Lovelock Art Commissions. The titular James Lovelock's Gaia hypothesis posited that the world is an interconnected super-organism, and the state of the oceans a way of ascertaining the health of this system. Evaporation’s dried waves become all the more haunting in the face of rising sea temperatures, making the work a salient reflection of the possible fate of the planet’s oceans. Given the forthcoming UN Climate Change Conference in Paris in December, Kovats' sensitive and engaging work will, hopefully, help to spur a little more action in the fight against one of our generation's most significant – and divisive – global bugbears.

A smashed bowl in pale orange, with the blue and green inside part that bleeds over the uneven edge.

Evaporation, the titular installation, features three bowls containing solutions of salt and blue ink, which evaporate over time

(Image credit: The Museum of Science and Industry, Manchester)

Three broken bowls in pale orange, with the blue and green inside part that bleeds over the uneven edge, sit in an enclosed glass case on a white platform.

This leaves behind a crust of salt crystals in concentric rings, mimicking the tides of the Earth: every time someone sees it, the ‘waves’ will have changed

(Image credit: the Museum of Science and Industry, Manchester)

Bottles full of water of different sizes are set on a wooden shelf.

Alongside this is All the Sea, featuring bottles of water collected from 200+ seas around the globe

(Image credit: the Museum of Science and Industry, Manchester)

A wide shot of bottles of different sizes filled with water are set on a tall and long wooden shelf.

There are still 36 other bottles from the world’s remaining seas to be added over time

(Image credit: the Museum of Science and Industry, Manchester)

INFORMATION

Evaporation is on view until 15 May 2016

ADDRESS

Museum of Science and Industry
Liverpool Road
Castlefield
Manchester, M3 4FP

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