The Self-playing Instrument of Water

Completed: 2013 Client: St James Artist: Alice Oswald
Partners: Millimetre, Pentagram Location: Kew Bridge, London
Services: Embedded Arts, Residential

The Self-playing Instrument of Water is a collaborative artwork by award-winning poet Alice Oswald, renowned designer Harry Pearce of Pentagram and specialist fabricators Millimetre. The poem draws on the area’s historical relationship with water, exploring the transformative properties of water and the deceptive simplicity of the water cycle and is physically embedded into the landscape of the Kew Bridge West development.

The Self-playing Instrument of Water is one of the commissions identified by Futurecity in the cultural strategy for Kew Bridge West. Futurecity’s strategy proposed a series of embedded artworks that would interpret, commemorate and enhance the significance of Kew Bridge in the history of Britain’s water supply. Big Table is also located on the Kew Bridge West development.

the artist

Alice Oswald

Alice Oswald is a T S Eliot Prize winning British poet. Oswald selected iambic pentameter, a ‘walking rhythm’ to compose ten rhyming couplets that are uniquely suited to their location and the experience of reading a path-side poem.

"Futurecity inhabits a unique position that is now powerfully enabling the arts to have an ever greater relevance and presence in elevating our urbane world"

Harry Pearce | Partner | Pentagram Design


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