Tidelines are rich in pickings, ever changing and exciting places to hold environmental art workshops. This year I was at the 10th anniversary of ‘A Domicile’ contemporary dance festival held in the small coastal town of Guisseny in Brittany. A place I’d worked before for their first festival.
My environmental art workshops worked with green blooms of macro alga. This excess along Brittany’s coastline indicates a consequence of human activities such as over farming and are common of green tides worldwide.
When visiting a new place, it’s a nice twist of fate when a momentary happening such as the arrival of this green alga highlights a process in nature unknown to me. It’s presence not only directed my exploration within the workshops, but my knowledge and experience of place was enriched through conversations and cultural associations this seaweed has for participants and passers-by.
Ulva Lactuca is the common sea lettuce. It is an annual species, occurring in the transitional zone between coast and deep sea. Submerged in shallow waters it has a transparent beauty, floating illuminous flecks in still shallow water as the tide rolls in and out. When it gets washed up on shore, it drys and piles up onto the white sands into dark green tidelines decomposing which can produce dangerous vapours.