Smout Allen

Liquid Kingdom

At the the Ewing Gallery, College of Art and Architecture, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, USA. 6 November – 4 December 2017

Liquid Kingdom is a speculative design proposal for an environmental ‘proving ground’ of landscape and architectural installations, sited on the Isle of Sheppey in the Thames Estuary, which responds to the island's unique character and prepares it for the future demands of society and climate change. Taking the form of a model village, Liquid Kingdom sees Sheppey scaled down to 1:20 with the whole model, at approximately 800 x 320 metres, ‘built’ in the island’s southern marshland meadows.

This ‘super-size miniature’ provides a place to see, experience, measure, analyse and enjoy the landscape, bridging the gap between research and local user groups. Part sincere architectural landscape proposal, part whimsy, the project speaks to the British relationship with landscape, the seaside, our nostalgic tendencies, and the anthropogenic impacts of recent times.

This autumn, a collection of new drawings of test sites will be exhibited showcasing concepts such as the Sheppey Battery, which buffers electricity from the London Array, Autonomous Pocket Farms, which allow for low impact agricultural development on previously ignored sites, Living Archipelagos to test coastal dwelling conditions and Drone Calibration Ports amongst others. The exhibition is accompanied by audio recordings of the liminal landscapes of the South East of England by the composer, Mike Challis, a leading artist concerned with recording the natural environment for public installations. 

Credits and Thanks