I shared my experience of collecting a bottle of Alboran Sea on the 24th April 2014 at The Fruitmarket Gallery. Edimburgh. Tania Kovats exhibition Oceans will be at Fruitmarket Gallery from 15th March till 25 May 2014. http://www.fruitmarket.co.uk
The exhibition begins with All the Sea (2012-14), a work made from sea water collected from around the world by individuals who responded to a public invitation to help assemble the world’s sea water in one place. Decanted into 365 glass bottles. All the sea takes the form of a library of bodies of water, from the Adriatic to the Yellow Sea. It also represents an archive of moments in time, recording of 250 human experiences with the sea, capturing in bottles a substance that otherwise slips through our fingers.
I know Tania from a few years ago and I felt that I had to collaborate with her collecting sea water. My story, my experience, was as follow:
“From some time I knew that Tania Kovats was collecting water from all the seas of the Earth, but believed that a sea as visited by the British as my Alboran Sea would have many collectors. In December 2013 I realized that Tania had yet not got it.
How was that possible? Flying to the South of Spain to spend my Christmas holiday I quickly decided to take action. I wanted it to reach her as soon as possible, so early in the morning of the very next day of my arrival I went to collect a bit of the coveted sea. I wanted to do it in an aesthetic bottle so I chose one from larder which full of liqueur had flown there from Austria many years before.
When I went to the beach, the day was bleak for a December day in the Marbella where the sun is normally shining at that time of the day. It was windy and the beach was completely deserted . There was not a single soul. Well, to collect water, I thought, and after having done it I took some photos of the bottle on the shore. But I wanted to get in them! and nothing, not a soul, strolled by. It was then when I spotted somewhat afar a fisherman of those with a fishing rod that spend hours and hours in a peaceful silence, in a permanent meditation by the sea. I approached him with my bottle already full and asked him to please take my photo, telling him that that water would travel to Scotland to meet other waters and maybe later continue travelling . You had to see the face of the fisherman! He was a wiry type , with creases of years at sea, eyes full of marine wisdom, but who did not understand anything of my verbiage about seas travelling and meeting others. I still don’t know if he believed me or not, the important thing was that he took the photo and so I appear delighted with my filled bottle.
The Alboran Sea has always been important in my life. I belong to a family of sailors. I learned to float in its salty water aided by the arms of my father before walking. When nine months old I already played and swam in the Sea of Alboran. So for me to have contributed to Tania Kovats project has been a pride and a tribute to my father who left this life, but not my heart, two years ago now.”
Esperanza Gomez Carrera.