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Ettie Spencer, ‘Whose waves?’

Whose waves? Ettie Spencer

‘WHOSE WAVES?’ – A temporary floating installation by Ettie Spencer, on the sea in front of Cockenzie Power Station for the 3 Harbours Festival 2010, East Lothian.

I received an artist’s award from East Lothian Council in May 2010 to create a large-scale art installation in East Lothian. Initially it was my intention to work with wind, but through a process of research and communication with the 3 Harbours Festival team I moved onto thinking about waves – and wave power.

In my work I set out to highlight our connections with not just the global problem of how to protect the future of the planet, but also with the many interesting community initiatives going on in East Lothian and wider, which contribute such a lot to our quality of life locally. I have been involved with environmental issues for a long time and more recently with the issue of how to reduce our carbon emissions. I believe that the job of the artist is to raise the stakes in the debate, not to provide answers, and should be taking a dynamic and assertive role in this way. This piece therefore poses a question and leaves the audience to ponder their response in a dialogue we should all be engaged in. The artist’s development award offered me an opportunity to address a relevant local issue – renewable energy – site-specifically, while creating a visually stimulating piece accessible to a wider audience beyond the traditional gallery setting. As a socially engaged artist I often draw on local expertise and make use of local resources. In this, this project was no exception.

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Listen to Ettie talk about her work, and the piece she is exhibiting.

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