Exploring Erosion … Artist proposes blowing up the moon.

IMG_0636Rock falls, landslips, dangerous cliffs, homes and businesses threatened… what should be done about coastal erosion? Why, blow up the moon of course!

At least that’s the suggestion of artist Richard DeDomenici who is part of a project called Exploring Erosion, alongside artists Jeff Pigott and Julia Warin. Commissioned by the Jurassic Coast Trust, the project aims to encourage people to think differently about coastal erosion.

The impact of last year’s severe weather has given erosion a bad name with the impression that it’s destroying the coast and must be stopped. This obscures the fact that the spectacular coastline we enjoy is the direct result of coastal erosion that has been going on for millennia. At the same time, there are some people who ignore the potential dangers completely and who can be seen climbing over recent rock falls.

So how can we get people to think more about erosion and how it affects them? Richard DeDomenici’s feasibility study explores blowing up part of the moon in order to reduce tidal forces and therefore the erosion they cause. Absurd? Maybe, but also memorable.

Screen Shot 2014-05-16 at 12.43.34Artists Jeff Pigott and Julia Warin are also taking an irreverent approach with their project to commodify and sell erosion. They have developed a range of products to protect against the impacts of erosion, such as the ‘Knit Your Own Coastal Defences’ kit. Again, the project hopes that this satirical view will stick in people’s minds and stimulate conversation.

Alexandra O’Dwyer from the Jurassic Coast Trust comments:

Thanks to erosion over millions of years, the Jurassic Coast is the amazing World Heritage Site that it is today. This natural process is an integral part of our coastline, yet all too often misunderstood or misrepresented. These thought-provoking projects show how we can turn our thinking about erosion on its head and engage people in this issue in a fun and inspirational way.’

You can see both projects through May and June. Richard’s feasibility study can be downloaded from operationlunarsea.tumblr.com. He will also be at the Spring Tide Festival at Hive Beach, Burton Bradstock on Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 May, 11am – 4pm, http://www.spring-tide.org.uk.

Jeff and Julia’s installation will be at Durlston Castle in Durlston Country Park from 18 May – 14 June, open Screen Shot 2014-05-16 at 12.43.17daily from 10am – 5pm, http://www.durlston.co.uk. It will then be here from 17 June – 5 July.

Both projects will also be part of the b-side festival on Portland in September, http://www.b-side.org.uk.

Exploring Erosion was commissioned by the Jurassic Coast Trust with funds from Arts Council England (Lottery) and also supported by West Dorset District Council and Dorset Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The project is being managed by Bridport Arts Centre on behalf of the Dorset Arts Trust, with support from Dorset County Council.