First There is a Mountain is a new artwork by Katie Paterson that connects the public to the world’s diverse mountains ranges.
It will be hosted by The Grundy on 2nd June 2019 and will take place on Blackpool beach as part of a nationwide tour.
The project involves the creation of a set of ‘buckets and spades’ in the form of world mountains, from which the public will be invited to build mountains of sand across the UK coastline and play out the world’s natural geography against a series of tidal times.
Each pail is a scale model of five of Earth’s mountains: Mount Kilimanjaro (Africa), Mount Shasta (USA), Mount Fuji (Asia), Stromboli (Europe), and Uluru (Oceania).
Katie said: “From early childhood we understand that sand marks time.
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“First There is a Mountain builds upon this concept, making us aware of mountain rocks’ erosion over millennia, rock shifting across Earth over continent’s evolution, forming unique fingerprints of sand across our modern coastline.
“The artwork invites the public to slow down, to consider the interconnectedness of the world, its immensity conveyed in miniature.
“Connecting the archipelago via one water, one tide, one sand - carrying mountains of sand across time – the extraordinary existing in ordinary things, everywhere.”
Paterson carefully selected each mountain range via exacting research, using data from NASA’s Shuttle Radar Topography Mission and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency.
The sand pails are made from 100 per cent fermented plant starch and are fully bio-compostable. At the end of the tour, they will be composted, reabsorbing back into the natural environment from which they were created.
In addition to First There is a Mountain, she will stage her largest ever solo exhibition at Turner Contemporary in Margate.
Her Future Library project, a public artwork that collects an original work by a popular writer every year from 2014 to 2114, continues to capture the imagination.