Photograph of Paternoster Square by Julian Andrews.
If you’re wandering around London and you come across blue halos attached to some well-known monuments, giving off an ethereal glow, don’t be too alarmed. They’re a new public artwork, Plunge, from Michael Pinsky, who’s attached some lowlight LEDs to Paternoster Square column near St Paul’s Cathedral, the Duke of York’s column by St James’ Park, and the Seven Dials Sundial Pillar near Covent Garden.
Each ring has been placed 28m (91.9ft) in the air to show where rising sea levels could be in a 1000 years time, indicating how much of London might be submerged under a swollen Thames river. The arc—seen here on a map—created by the three monuments’ positions extends the arc of the Thames, showing how it could possibly swallow up some of the capital.
Photograph of Duke of York column by Kristian Buus.
But before you panic that your great, great, great, great (think that’s enough “greats”?) grandchildren may never be able to enjoy a London that isn’t a historic water park—or worse yet, that a gilled Kevin Costner might be their only salvation—take comfort in knowing that the project looks at a worst case scenario. These blue lights are just a reminder of the irreversible change we may be reaping on our lovely home.
From his website:
As a child, I grew up near a reservoir in Scotland. On particularly hot summers, when water was in short supply, the level of the reservoir would drop, revealing the spire of a church, the highest point of a village which was submerged for a secure clean water supply. This image of a submerged bell tower has stayed with me ever since. If we do not prevent the predicted effects of climate change from occurring, this will become the prevailing image of London, towers and monuments encircled by an ever-expanding Thames.
Photograph of Seven Dials by Julian Andrews.
He’s not the first artist to tackle the “what if” flooding scenario that could be caused by climate change. Last year artist Eric Corriel freaked us all out with Water Will Be Here, Brooklyn (below), a video installation that showed what it might look like if the East River overflowed into parts of New York City.
Plunge will be on show till March 4.