A solar powered landmark synchronised with the tide, HIGH…LOW serves as a tribute to the historical importance of Deptford’s all-but-forgotten tidal Creek.
It’s an indicator that resurrects the area’s unique qualities and illuminates the ever-changing mood of the Creek. Aesthetically and structurally in-tune with the brutal, yet intriguing, landscape, HIGH…LOW serves to highlight an urban-natural environment striving to retain its strong sense of individuality.
The art work, an illuminated sign made up of the words HIGH…LOW, spans 21metres/69feet and 1.5metres/6.5feet high. A total of 165 LED spotlights create this tidal indicator which sits on the creekside wall in front of the Faircharm Industrial Estate building – each lamp serving as a pixel. As the tide moves in and out twice daily, the letters within the words are illuminated to reflect the current level of the tide with each segment lasting approximately 20 minutes.
This area is a point of convergence where its audience is a mixture of pedestrians via Ha’penny Hatch footbridge, the waterway below, the rail above, and the Docklands Light Railway. People often only see Deptford while in transit; all moving at different tempos and only catching brief glimpses of the site itself. HIGH…LOW is designed specifically for repeat viewers and encourages them to ponder the changing nature of the sign and, with it, the tide which drives Deptford Creek.
Artist: Shona Kitchen with Dominic Robson. Project Manager: Ben Eastop for Creative Process. Invaluable assistance: Olga V Reid Fabrication: Art + Film Fab Ltd. Hardware development and programming: Andrew Huntington. Solar Power: House Choice. Engineers: Lyons O’Neill. Lights supplied by Led Lighting Products Ltd. An Art in Regeneration project by Creative Process funded by Deutsche Bank with in-kind sponsorship from Workspace Group. www.creativeprocess.org.uk
The commission was part of the Deptford Creekside Charrette, an ambitious, participatory urban design exercise run by Creative Process in 2008 and supported by the London Development Agency. www.creeksidecharrette.org