Make Space: Summer Project 2014

Posted on Jul 10, 2014

Day 39
Film by Oliver Rudkin

10 hour durational waving performance. 

Day 38
Reflection by Beth Ramsay
Photo by Oliver Rudkin

For thousands of years, we have gone to sea. We have crafted vessels to carry us and we have called them by name. These ships will nurture and care for us through perilous seas, and so we affectionately call them she. To them we toast, and ask to celebrate Detritus II.

To the sailors and the artists of old, to Detritus II.

The moods of the sea are many, from tranquil to violent. We ask that this ship be given the strength to carry on. The keel is strong and she keeps out the pressures of the river and the sea.

To the river and the sea to the sailors and the artists of old. To the sea! 

Today we come to name this lady Detritus II and send her to sea to be cared for, and to care for the community of Eel Pie Island, the community of Richmond Yacht Club and the community of Make Space. 

We ask the sailors and the artists of old that is the sea to accept Detritus II as her name, to help her through her passages, and allow her to return with her crew safely. To the sea to the sailors and the artists before us.

To Detritus II.


Day 37

Reflection by Beth Ramsay
Photo by Oliver Rudkin

On Friday 12th September, ten young makers will carry a small raft (ceremoniously named Detritus II) from Eel Pie Island to The North Sea. Over two tidal cycles they will travel the length of the Thames between these points by boat, train and foot.

Inspired by the traditions of Yacht Clubs the group will use a series of symbolic flags (Burgees) to chart their journey.

On arrival at the sea they will launch the boat. The performance will continue on the terms of the tide.


Day 36
Reflection by Beth Ramsay
Photo by Oliver Rudkin

We are now on a timetable made by the tide.


Day 35
Reflection by Beth Ramsay
Photo by Oliver Rudkin

We chart where we have been not where we are going.


Day 34
Reflection by Beth Ramsay
Photo by Oliver Rudkin

Look at life again soon.


Day 33

Reflection by Beth Ramsay
Photo by Oliver Rudkin

A conversation with Minty Donald on her work with Nick Miller exploring the agency of water. More details here: 

Who is the audience?

Does the process end on the 12th of September?

Will we go camping?

Will we move?

Will we cross the river?

What would a river tour look like if it truly toured the river?


Day 32

Reflection by Beth Ramsay
Photo by Oliver Rudkin

I heard the story of a woman who left not knowing how she would arrive.

I heard the story of a man who fanaticised about exploring the canal systems on a dream boat.

I heard the story of a woman who, in an attempt to create boxes and rooms inside her head ended up with Mexico City.

I heard the story of a man who in observing planes fly overhead was reminded of waving at planes as a child.

I heard the story of a man who saw the river as the sky and the sky as the river.

I heard the story of a woman who climbed a tree and felt a sense of groundedness from watching a heron and a cat move their feet.

I heard the story of a woman who wondered what people suffer in silence and later made time to listen to her grandmother’s stories.

I hear the story of a man who began as a member of the wave police and realised the only way to change this, was to remove himself from the situation by sleeping.

I heard the story of a woman who was visited three times by a bird with a red hat.

I heard the story of a woman whose shadow brought her great companionship.

These are the stories I heard.


Day 31

Reflection by Beth Ramsay
Photo by Oliver Rudkin

Start on the south (south east). It is the second day of the month which is a Tuesday. In the morning the high tide at Richmond is at 8.06am and the tide will rise 13 feet above the depth shown on the chart. In the evening it will be high water again at 8.29pm and the water will rise 13 feet.


  1. Meet at the bridge 7.30am in silence
  2. Move in silence onto the pontoon
  3. Meditation between the start and finish of the bell
  4. State intention on the pontoon in the direction that the tide is flowing (jack will throw the stick)
  5. Stand up to say your intention
  6. For the first and the last hour everyone will wave together
  7. Every hour we will raise a flag.


Day 30
Reflection by Phoebe McIndoe
Photo by Oliver Rudkin

I can’t tell you how we came to try our first eel pie
What happened was
we built our own scuba equipment
And we sent someone down into the water
Wearing this underwater space-helmet
Not your ordinary-
It had sparks like this
that sprung from the top. These-
like Fireworks.
So we blew out all the eels!
We lost the original picture but, you can imagine
What it looked-
The metal head and the coloured lights, shooting out-
Like electricity buzzing.
And now we just have this old relic- see- and when the light shines through here
it looks like beams of coloured light coming out-
just like a kaleidoscope.
so we keep this-
as a reminder.


Day 29
Reflection by Phoebe McIndoe
Photo by Oliver Rudkin

One nail
followed by another
into wood
into wood
a series of steps
that were made by us
that we
had seen, saw
ourselves making

leading down into black
oil, water
had been drunk
by us
or moved
by us
watched by us
whilst it watched too
the steps, that would eventually
cut through
and provide:
a through-way
a gate-way
a door-way
an invitation to swim
where earlier it had only been
by the rickety ladder which we had lowered in with shaking limbs
The stairs
would enter into the water
and be reflected back
like a double-ended offering
a never-ended journey


Day 28
Reflection by Morgan Eglin
Photo by Oliver Rudkin

I don't know what to write because I don't know what I'm doing. I've made a mistake. A good mistake, but a mistake none-the-less. I'm trying to get it sorted, but it isn't exactly easy. Meeting J tomorrow. That should take me back. Or forward, depending on the ratio of reminiscences to predictions. Reflecting on reflections. Reflecting through reflections.


Day 27
Reflection by Morgan Eglin
Photo by Oliver Rudkin

Prestonfield Bank,
Clearburn Crescent,
Priestfield Road,
Peffermill Road,
King's Haugh,
Peffermill Bridge,
Abroad, but at home,
The same water,
Only a different river.


Day 26
Reflection by Holly Riddle
Photo by Oliver Rudkin

They raised a flag to nature.

Ceremonially standing, they tugged vigorously on the rope.

The pole halted and the pulley screeched, not wanting the strangers to dominate this domain.

They pulled and pulled, but half-mast was as high as they could go.

Half conquering, half acknowledging this land.

The flag made of paper, hung waywardly. It crinkled in the wind; it did not flourish like other flags, those that boast of their dominion.

At the end of the day it was found sunk to the floor. Defeated.


Day 25
Reflection by Holly Riddle
Photo by Oliver Rudkin

We arrive between the edge of an unknown forest and a mannequin holding a paintbrush with a parrot on its shoulder admiring its blank masterpiece. A nameless local emerges from the bramble and twigs with such ease that only a local would know exactly what footsteps to tread on such awkward terrain, with a blind dog at his side stepping just as intuitively as his master.

This man enquires about us, scoffs and says “Make Space?! Why don’t you make cakes!” he coyly remarks...

There’s a growing realisation being on this island that making things is a very respectful profession – on such a small island the sense of this obligation is heightened.

Trevor Bayliss has been inventing all of his life; he gained enough money working for an underwater circus company to build his home, brick by brick, on this richly eccentric island. Books piled high, unnamed gadgets hidden under nuts and bolts, plaques written in fancy typography all recognising his achievements are hung waywardly on the walls. This odd and fascinating house is concealed behind a picket fence and the aroma of sawdust. This bachelor, full of his profound imagination and wit pronounces his next big event... is Death.

Stories on this island are uncensored. There are no sort after endings here. No happy ever afters.

The artists on this island use tug boats as studios. There were once so many, but now just a handful remains due to a fire. Office blocks have taken its place.

Arthur Chisnall held music events in the only hotel on the island – it was so old and worn down that the dance floor was so stretched it felt like you were dancing on a trampoline – was shut five years later and burnt to ash a few years after that.

The nutty “Professor Cockles” fired fireworks underwater using a diving helmet made out of a fire bucket and an oxygen tank fashioned out of a converted extinguisher; a regular Sunday afternoon feature amongst the locals, he died before he made his final debut, to rise phoenix-like from his watery grave.

Happy endings don’t exist here. But great stories do start here.

So where do we start? Maybe we should start small... Like Trevor, we should build our foundations brick by brick, adopting his motto “keep it simple, stupid”. Like Professor Cockles and his infamous fire bucket diving helmet, or Arthurs simple idea to use music as a platform for togetherness.

Maybe making cakes are a good place to start...


Day 24
Reflection by Rui Jin
Photo by Oliver Rudkin

What a rarity it must be for two mirrors to meet each other face to face.
Worth the wait.


DAY 23
Reflection by Rui Jin
Photo by Oliver Rudkin

Trying to go beyond ‘interesting’.


DAY 22

Reflection by Rachel Mfon
Photo by Oliver Rudkin

How do I translate images into words?
How do I demonstrate my meaning?
How do we create meaning?
How do you communicate to an empty space?
How do I locate the end of the cone?
How do I operate in a foreign land?
How do you meditate in chaos?
How do I separate my thoughts?
How do we compensate for loneliness?
How do we anticipate the end?
How do I wait for passers by to see my wave?
How do I relate to those passing by?
How do we activate the buzz?
How do you evaluate art?
How do they navigate through time?
How do we estimate how much time we have?
How do you generate a culture of questioning?
How do I collaborate with strangers?
How do they celebrate on a spring floor?


DAY 21

Reflection by Rachel Mfon
Photo by Oliver Rudkin

It's like holding a mirror in front of another mirror, watching the image lose itself within itself. When the two reflective surfaces meet , they meet again and again, introducing themselves in infinite ways.

It's like the many you's that pass through the doorway. Between each entrance and exit you are made different, so each time the threshold holds someone else. Someone bigger, maybe better, maybe lesser than you were. The room has not changed but you are not the same as the one who came before.

It's the like the ripples in the river. A drop in the water cracks the surface, etching into it one small ring. Each second creates its own circle but it all begins with one small ring. One small person, one small idea finds a space in the room close to the open window, where the wind brings rain and the sun brings light, causing it to grow upwards and outwards, expanding to the left, to the right.


DAY 20
Reflection by Kaysha Woollery
Image by Oliver Rudkin

We jumped for joy. We jumped for jazzle.


That sounds rude for some reason. That, and it’s not a word.

Sorry about that.

We jumped for jazz.

I don’t know if you could pass Phil Collins off as “jazz”…
Or if there was anyone present by the name of Jazz.
If there was, they certainly weren’t jumping. And we definitely weren’t jumping for them. At least I hope we weren’t. A dog came in at one point. Maybe that was Jazz. You can’t really get Jazz dogs these day, can you?

We jumped for… hmm
What on earth were we jumping for?

I could have sworn we had a reason. Surely we can’t have been jumping just…to jump? That would have been unethical.
There probably wasn’t a reason. Unless there was, and no one knows what it was. Poor reason.

What did we bliming jump for then?!


That was uncalled for.

Why did we jump?

I could ask until the cows come home. Only I would never stop asking, because as far as I recollect, there were no cows. Only a black swan that nobody ever saw and a heron. I remember the heron clearly because I recall mistaking it for a cardboard cutout of a flamingo. That could have been embarrassing.

Still I don’t remember jumping for it...
I remember waving at it. I remember flapping away until my arms nearly fell off as I realised it wasn’t a cardboard cutout and was indeed a bird that could not wave back. Don’t know what I was expecting from cardboard, to be honest.

I remember having a lie down.
I remember meshing as a human waffle as we struggled to swallow our breath together. We didn’t jump, though.

So where was the jumping? I’m starting to think I just made it up. For attention. Just confabulating, really. Just for shits and giggles…

I don’t know if I’m allowed to say that.

Oh well, it’s there now. Nothing we can do about it.

We cannot remove what is there as easily as we can place what is not there.

Come to think of it.

There was no jumping.

We sat. And drank tea. And waited. Then we jumped.

End of.


DAY 19
Reflection by Daniella Reiff
Photo by Oliver Rudkin


- Choose a recurring idea or pattern contained within the Make Space process. The rhythm is reliant on the momentum of the pattern to sustain itself. Rhythm being the fundamental force that brings us together.

- Have a conversation with breath in response to the recurring pattern

- Plunge into the river vortex

- You are a kiss to the wind


DAY 18

Photo by Oliver Rudkin
Reflection by Daniella Reiff


1. to make active; cause to function or act.

2. Physics.
to render more reactive; excite:
to activate a molecule.
to induce radioactivity.

3. to aerate (sewage) in order to accelerate decomposition of impure organic matter by microorganisms.

4. Chemistry.
to make (carbon, a catalyst, molecules, etc.) more active.
to hasten (reactions) by various means, as heating.

Definition number 3:

In order to form clarity and simplification of our processes, we work together to help the nonessential matter be made aware of and be broken down. What if we are the organisms too small to be viewed by the naked eye but have ignited this developmental process. How would it perform left by traces?

> Fall into an unstoppable force to construct a sacred space for the light/fire/buzz to rise up.

What could this unstoppable force be? Our environment, ourselves, the fabric of reality (synchronicity), unravelled stories, the people on the island…?

How would you converse with an unstoppable force?

Hands cupped

Inter-connected heat

What happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object?


DAY 17

Photo by Oliver Rudkin
Reflection by Moa Johansson

With the tail, make a loop in the end
of the rope.
Then continue around the rope
before passing the tail
down through the loop to
complete the figure of eight



DAY 16

Photo by Oliver Rudkin
Reflection by Moa Johansson

The river is beside me and
the river surrounds me. I am floating on the surface.
The river goes through me and it streams out of me. The river
is beneath me and it drifts away from me.
The river makes me sick, the river makes me calm, the river makes me see.
The river calls for me.
It sings for me,
it tells
no lies and always
the river comes back to me.

I am the river.


DAY 15

Photo by Oliver Rudkin
Reflection by Matt Clayton


How much of this is useful to the day-blind dog? A free curse and a sweet
invitation: “Make Space? Why don't you make cakes?”

With us there is no telling. We forged the thing backwardsly, carefully
tracing the graphite, the pencil held sensibly tight. Pulled it up and
out, still dripping.

Instructions arrive in retrospect, somewhere downstream. To begin. To
depart. Wave constantly for 30 minutes until rescue [arrives]. The pain in
your upper arm is the melancholy in every greeting and goodbye, the secret
tourism of the created, an inoculation for fleshy forgetting.

Enter the craft shop not too long before closing time. Remember to bring
not quite enough money for the transaction at hand. You will need, among
other data, your father's birthday and the minimum debit card spend. These
elements are crucial and are best not left to chance; have them at your
fingertips or the back of your hand. I am here. I am here with you now.

That night, the electric night, we watched half the hours impressed hard
down on screwed-up sheets. Jellied in oil and sweats each, we touched a
moistness that breathed in all our exhales, every puffed up sigh and yawn.
We fed the thunder. Picture these million supine up-spouts as the dangled
legs of a wet leviathan over the city. Imagine this and you may feel
closer to the eye of the thing. The o of the storm.

Sleep then was a snatched and grabbed release, something like the pulling
of a plug.


DAY 14

Photo by Oliver Rudkin
Reflection by Matt Clayton

Know Your Liferaft

To make. To make eel pie you must first be born: this is not so easy as it
sounds. A lithe, ceaseless thing, you must learn to breathe underwater, to
swim, using only your wholebeing. (To sink, to think in black-green, to
beat, to scrunch, knowing intimately those arcane furlings, the tides).

To catch an eel you will need an inventor's bad luck: an alter-ego and an
alternating current, a peripeteia in waiting. On the tidal reach, each
prototype, every new device an escape act, every punchline on the edge of
something darker. At the flick of a switch, the line of least resistance
runs strange.

The Phoenix Man, the marvel, the black swan twice risen: this is child's
play, the logic meccano-unsmooth. They say, he earned his professorship
under a spring tide, midstream. This is elemental: so much spark = so many
ripples = so many waves.

What else? To dance. Backstroke to a teeming ballroom. Start as you mean
to discontinue: a single-use passport, Pan-patented, between a sprung
floor and a spring tide. Many lives have been saved that might otherwise
be lost.


DAY 13

Photo by Oliver Rudkin
Reflection by Jack Stancliffe

How can the provocation of altering a pre-existing space (Richmond yacht club) act as a reflection of Eel Pies current community?

Who will now perform the labour to alter the space? and how will that shift from the photographs of Phil Collins parents with rubble in their hands?
What function is the new space being built to serve? what narrative will it be based on and how will it alter the clubs position to the river?
What will be kept as a reminder of the current club house interior? Framed red curtains? Hanging toilet seat lids in the position they were. How will this express the attitude towards the shift?
what will a new open plan approach visually reveal about the internal politics of the club.
Is Miles Smeetons "the sea was our village" going to be given a prime location on a shifting stack of books.
What if the phrase. "Build it and they will come" falls short.


DAY 12

Photo by Oliver Rudkin
Reflection by Jack Stancliffe

There was a period of time where we could be observed on Eel pie island, Which was set by the velocity of the river and Knot speed of the tourist yacht. This determined how our actions and situation was perceived. These structures were out of my hands.
Two groups of people that chose to temporarily position themselves in two passing spaces. And with this factor, the need to signal this displacement arose with a wave. One of these structures were in my hands.
I swallowed a china mug of water from the Thames, and after let my hands have no choice in the matter.


DAY 11
Photo by Oliver Rudkin
Reflection by Kaysha Woollery

Everything around us tells a story. Everything around you is made by someone whose job it is to make it. We learn how to make things. We must learn how to carve our own living, forge our own paths. We must learn how to hammer nails into wood.


DAY 10
Photo by Oliver Rudkin.
Reflection by Audain Thompson.

Stop! Look! Wait! That's not the right way! Well, no one knows which way is the right way. I'd say let's be a cone, yes a cone.
We are on the edge together working as a unit.
Respecting each other and the different perspectives we bring.
We share our strength so that we can get to the same place in the end.
Thoughtful, understanding and accepting.
Togetherness brings us close so we can experience the journey together as one

Photo by Oliver Rudkin.
Reflection by Audain Thompson.

I am feeling lighter than a feather, free as a bird flying through the changing weather. We are trapped in a routine where we can’t take the time out to reflect. Reflection brings peace and peace brings happiness to oneself. Pressure, I don’t really think that we get pressured, for pressure is a myth: Family Pressure, Bus Pressure, Peer Pressure, Appearance Pressure, the list goes on and on. But once you strip that way, you don’t have any pressure do you. For those pressures are not yours, they’re your friends' and family's pressure. Stop. Think. Concentrate and listen to the sound of your own breathing. It feels refreshing right, you, you not listening to anything else but yourself. Let go of the burden that was once trapped within your body, the burden that is heavier than lead that creates tension in your shoulders, back, spine, toes, hands, legs. Inhale gently. Exhale softly; try to get all of the oxygen to circulate in those broken parts. Pressure. Pressure is nothing but an illusion within the mind, for once you strip away it all, you’ll only come to realise that your only pressure is your own; it won’t be anything like the pressure of others, but a pleasurable pressure that is yours. So don’t be afraid and let go!!!



Photo by Oliver Rudkin.
Reflection by Beth Ramsay.

What activates the river inside and outside of us?


Photo by Oliver Rudkin.
Reflection by Beth Ramsay.

A performance that communicates a transition to a more present state of being
A performance which reflects a change in pace
A performance that sings
A performance that communicates a relationship between halves and wholes
A performance in which nothing is still
A performance which depends upon the river and the wind
A performance that reflects the audience back on itself
A performance that relinquishes control
A performance that acknowledges a past and a present tense



Reflection by Beth Ramsay.

What makes it easier to say it how it is?


Photo by Oliver Rudkin.
Reflection by Beth Ramsay.

After singing songs that attracted two locals, two bodies in swimsuits entered the water at night so quietly, trying to light a small island for the first time. It took a box of matches, extra paper, two types of lighters and around six pairs of hands. Two passing paddlers observed from the other side as the smoke and wind came alive.



Photo by Oliver Rudkin.
Reflection by Beth Ramsay.

To say what you see and not what you think you see.



Photo by Oliver Rudkin.
Reflection by Beth Ramsay.

I knew everything about meccano but I couldn’t write my name

Now I have flowers in the garden 365 days of the year
You ask yourself, what do you want? I built my dream home
Keep it simple stupid
Art is pleasure, invention is treasure
It’s not what you know, it’s what you’re capable of that matters
Hitler also had a dog called Blondi
You’ve got to have an ego the size of a truck
He died from a heart attack at the age of 41 and gave all his money to the cat shelter. Why didn’t he just work for the cat shelter?
Follow the buzz
I want to bring invention into education
Do you know who Mary Anderson is? She invented window-screen wipers.
I want all the students to know how to put a nail into wood
I’m a single man so I don’t cook dinners
Disability is only a banana slip away
Wanna cup of tea Trev? Yeah alright Nels
And then there’s the electric shoes
You don’t wanna be the richest man in the graveyard
Theres no pockets in the shroud
-Trevor Baylis


Photo by Oliver Rudkin.
Reflection by Beth Ramsay.

What’s getting in the way of doing the thing you intended to do?

Beyond learning to listen to our own voice how can we be surprised by what we hear?

How can this practice with oneself deepen and refine articulations and actions collaboratively?

How does this inform ways to respond to the parakeets? The fox hunting the heron? The rising tide and the disappearing steps?

How to act as a mirror that expands and evolves an original reflection into something other?

How to encourage non-designed moments within so many pre-existing structures of design? Does this begin with cultivating a context for these potential moments to thrive within? Does it start with an invitation?



Photo by Oliver Rudkin.
Reflection by Beth Ramsay.

How to use the small end of a cone as a starting point for moving towards a more dynamic space?

How to approach something small whilst keeping an eye on the bigger picture, peering out, one step at a time?

Or what it might be like to approach this from a different angle, from the wide, open mouth of the cone, moving slowly towards the narrow, more refined end?

How to approach something big whilst allowing something much smaller to retain agency?

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