It was months ago when we started speaking with Camille Plante, the person in charge of organising the exhibitions at i-Qlick Canon, about what we were going to do and how we could show it in the space. She gave us a lot of freedom from the very beginning, encouraging us to look for our ideal space.
We launched our dreamed proposal from Ratanakiri, we wanted it to reflect what we had lived, that, as the experience itself, it had many faces in which the work of the artists, the artworks of the participants and our adventure were shown, and where a space for creation was available. When Camille told us that it was a great concept, we became self confident to look for the way to make it real, as she is an expert with a wide experience curating photography exhibitions.
We were really lucky as we had a huge space to start, open, clear and with a lot of light. The challenge was creating the divisions, but they showed up in a natural way.
Through Waters’ photos covered the walls, the lack of space to hang them all made us create a middle wall among the columns of the hall. We didn’t want it to be just a surface to hang the pictures from, we wanted it to have transparency and movement, linking somehow with the topic, with water. An infinite flow of different blue wools allowed us to get the sensation that we were wishing to transmit. After thousands of laps, literally, we had our water wall.
We also wanted the exhibition to turn around a meaning which causes a flow, so we began with the origin: a board explaining the project and a map showing the route that we had done in ARTWATERENESS ON WHEELS, where most of the artworks of the exhibition were born.
Some bodies of water came up on both sides of the wall: on the left, a cloud of drawings collected an important part of the participation of all the villages; on the right side, our researcher artists, Kong Vollak and Taing Chhea Chhin, showed their works, among which there were a waterfall and a mountain under the rain.
In the final part, some boards showed the photographs shot at the workshops and two big mats with cushions invited us to chill out while enjoying the tales, comics and graphic stories that our participants had produced.
There were also two screens in the hall. One was a flat screen showing “Deshielo” (Melting), a video art by Manolo Pavón. The other one, a computer where we could see the short films and listen to the radio theatre plays which made us reflect on water and the significance of its care. For the most curious, UNESCO had provided us with several documents revealing the water situation in Cambodia.
A big table full of materials offered us the possibility of creating our own artworks and setting them to sail in a sea that flooded the frontal crystal part of the building.
It was very hard but terribly gratifying to see the reality of what had been an idea in gestation during months.
This wouldn’t have been possible without the help of Fani Llauradó, a Spanish photographer based in Phnom Penh who helped and assesed us in everything. We were incredibly lucky to have her by our side and we will never forget it.