ARTWORK INSTALLATION FOR ALDER HEY HYDROTHERAPY POOL
Catrin Jones, Dan Linn-Pearl and David Pearl are a video, sound and light installation artist team, collectively
entitled ‘Immersion’. Film, music, sounds and lights have been co-ordinated to create a unified and
congenial experience for the new hydrotherapy pool.
The programmes are intended to be evocative of the natural world, using colour, light and sound. Rather
than being watched like a film, the intent is to create an immersive environment. Much like being by the
sea, or in a forest, they inspire different moods of relaxation, or stimulation, appropriate to the nature of
the therapy required.
There are three programmes: ‘Fields of Colour’, ‘In the Forest’ and ‘Reflections’, each with its own
particular qualities, creating three discrete environments. The programmes are informed by elements of
the natural world, bringing wildlife, trees, flowers, rivers, and colours into the Pool room.
‘Fields of Colour’ is a lively animation video, a celebration of rich, living, moving colour, intended to be
playful and fun. Colour is very stimulating to the eye and mind, and lifts the spirits. Here is a painting
happening as you watch; an immersion in the joy of colour, combining subtle, quiet phases and more
adventurous moments of action. The music correlates abstractly with the visual element, and is inspired by
the classical arrangements used by Disney and Warner Brothers cartoons.
‘In the Forest’ is intended to evoke the restorative experience of time spent in the woods, with flowers,
trees, streams and birds. The film traces the unfolding seasons, beginning with early spring, progressing
through summer and culminating in the autumn. Within the overall atmosphere of the changing light
which flickers through the leaves, and the sound world of insects and birds which surrounds and embraces
us, beautiful details can be distinguished. The ambient music combines soft piano motifs and other musical
instruments, and is blended with bird song and an amazing array of natural sounds.
‘Reflections’ plays with the enchanting, almost mesmeric, experience of watching water. Water mirrors its
surroundings, and this altered perception can create a beguiling and attractive view of the world around us.
The film shows colours and shapes reflecting in water, and is an echo of the water in the hydrotherapy
pool. It is intended to recreate the relaxing, immersive experience of floating, and of enjoying its elemental
beauty and movement. The music focuses on the sound of water droplets that begin as organic sound, and
evolve into percussion to form the rhythm. The temperament is warm and comforting, yet lively. The track
also uses a variety of other musical and sound effects, including whale song.
The artists conducted sound and animation workshops with members of the Children and Young People’s
Forum at Alder Hey during the summer of 2015. The visual narrative of the animated ‘Fields of Colour’ film
is directly informed by work created during the workshops, while the two slower pieces, ‘In the Forest’ and
‘Reflections’ respond to suggestions that gentler images and music are more supportive for the children
and young people.