‘Heavy Rock’ is an exciting public art commission that aims to shed new light on Plymouth’s historic breakwater.
This unique project will make a hidden process public as well as producing a contemporary response to the historic collections held at the City Museum and Art Gallery.
Each year up to twelve 100-tonne concrete wave breakers are cast at Oreston Quay and then placed in strategic positions on the breakwater. The wave breakers help reinforce this fascinating structure which lies at the entrance to Plymouth Sound protecting the harbour and anchorages. The work is overseen by the Ministry of Defence and Babcock.
Plymouth based artist Keith Harrison has intervened in the casting process of one of these blocks and has installed hydrophone sound technology inside it.
The block will be dropped into position on the breakwater on the evening of Saturday 18 July 2015 as part of a live public event. This event will also feature the first public airing of a brand new piece of music composed by British musician Will Gregory and performed by a 24-piece military band.
The sounds that are captured by the hydrophones inside the wave breaker will then be relayed back to land can be heard as part of the exhibition at KARST. Which will include a wooden replica of the mould that Harrison has used to produce his 100-tonne wave breaker in collaboration with Babcock and the Ministry of Defence, and developmental drawings, film documentation and audio recordings.