Some photos of Michael Cross’ installation at Dilston Grove – a disused shell of a church on the edge of Southwark Park.
The main body of the church has been filled with a tank of water. As you step out over it, steps appear from the water. They are meant to disappear behind you, leaving you standing in the middle, alone, surrounded by water and light. ‘It’ll work better in the next one I’m building’, said the artist. Apparently in an outdoor lake, which will be stunning.
The piece for me ended up being a meditation not on water and light, but on health and safety, and middle class obedience. We all had to sign disclaimers. Walkers were forced to wear life-jackets, and were guided out by the artist. In case they fell into 60cm of water. No one was allowed near the tank when the artist wasn’t in the room. And everyone obeyed sensibly.
It wasn’t Cross’ fault. ‘Insurance purposes.’ But somehow it took the trickster element away, and thus a good bit of the artistic merit, leaving something more akin to a challenge on a outdoor pursuits camp.