Flood Barrier by CATHERINE YASS

Flood Barrier by CATHERINE YASSA new film commission that warps our views on Barking Creek Flood Barrier while sharpening our focus on urgent rising sea levels and climate change

“…a wheeling, swooping seagull’s-eye viewpoint” The Art Newspaper
“…unsettling, vulnerable” Guardian

A huge guillotine-like structure poised above the water, Barking Creek Flood Barrier has taken on a new and urgent significance in our fight against the climate crisis; with flooding in East London now predicted to become routine over the coming years (Climate Central environmental study, 2021).

Nominated for the Turner Prize in 2002, Catherine Yass is widely recognised for her distinctive photographic and film-based work. Her practice disrupts notions of power through the disorientation of the camera and the distortion of colour. In ‘Flood Barrier’ Yass uses this visual language to allow viewers to see the structure and its surroundings from a new perspective showing the urgency of the environmental and political issues it embodies. The film was co-produced with Progress Project, a local youth group in Barking & Dagenham.

The film’s release coincided with the 70th anniversary of The Great Flood of 1953, often considered the worst natural disaster Britain experienced during the 20th century. ‘Flood Barrier’ forms part of a wider public programme entitled ‘Breaking Waves’, exploring and raising awareness of the link between our contemporary climate crisis and industrial heritage.

Flood Barrier by Catherine Yass was commissioned by Create London, funded by Art Fund and Arts Council England, with additional support from The Elephant Trust. The associated engagement programme, Breaking Waves, was made possible with the National Lottery Heritage Fund, with additional support from Arts Council England and Art Fund.