News article created on 3 October 2018

Underwater poem installed on Bath canal

Working with Canal & River Trust, the charity that cares for the waterways in Bath, the temporary poem is thought to be the first of its kind on the canal.

Underwater poem in Bath Underwater poem in Bath

The temporary poem is thought to be the first of its kind on the canal.

It has been created by artist Jessica Kashdan-Brown and installed with the help of local volunteers from the Trust. The team held a stencil of the poem against the 200-year-old brick wall and used a pressure washer to wash away algae, leaving the words etched onto the wall.

The poem, at Lock 13 on the canal near Pulteney Road, is the first of six that Jessica is hoping to install along the locks in Bath.

Each time a boat goes down through the lock, around 123,000 litres of water - the equivalent of 820 full baths tubs - empty from the lock. It is at this point those using the lock will be able to see the poem revealed.

The poem reads:

The fisherman reels

in the line, catching

the light as it drags

reflections open into ripples

of stories sunk

like hers

who sought to drown

the contents of her purse

-d lips, jangling secrets

like keys

tossed to the depths

of this waiting lock

Richard Thomas, director of Wales & South West for the Canal & River Trust, said: "Our waterways provide the backdrop and inspiration for many artists, poets and writers and it’s great to see Jessica’s poem etched onto the wall of lock 13. I hope the thousands of visitors and boaters that visit the Kennet & Avon in Bath each year take the time to pause and read the poem.

"I would also like to thank our volunteers for their help in making this project happen. All our volunteers do a fantastic job helping us at the Canal & River Trust care for our waterways and I would urge anyone who has a love for the waterways to come and join the team and you too could be enjoying spending your days next to our beautiful waterways."

Jessica said: "I really hope that this installation allows people to stop and contemplate the Bath canal route as a rich, creative space full of stories, and to think about travelling along the Bath flight not as a necessity, but as an experience."

For more information on Jessica’s canal project visit https://jkashdanbrown.wordpress.com/canal-poetry-route/ Feel free to leave your thoughts and comments on the project at the bottom of the page.