March 14, 2014 - The Fruitmarket Gallery - Tania Kovats
March 14, 2014

Tania Kovats

Tania Kovats, Only Blue (Antarctica), 2013. Courtesy the artist.

Tania Kovats 

15 March–25 May 2014

The Fruitmarket Gallery
45 Market Street
Edinburgh, EH1 1DF
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The Fruitmarket Gallery’s spring exhibition is a major solo exhibition of the work of British artist Tania Kovats. Kovats’s practice encompasses sculpture, installation and large-scale time-based projects exploring our experience and understanding of landscape. She is best known for Tree (2009), a permanent installation for the Natural History Museum; and Rivers, a, large-scale sculpture in the landscape of Jupiter Artland outside Edinburgh, and this new exhibition focuses on her fascination with the sea.

A highlight of the exhibition is All the Sea, an ambitious new work which presents water from all the world’s seas, collected by the artist with the help of a global network of people drawn in by the poetry of the idea of bringing all the waters of the world to one place. Bottles of seawater have been arriving at The Fruitmarket Gallery and at the artist’s studio from all over the world since late 2012, and the network of connections that the piece represents has grown week by week. 

All the Sea is joined by new and existing work, all of which have to do in some way with the sea. Sculptures referencing cliff formations; a machine that mimics the formation of mountains; a new sculpture in the form of a reef of proliferating barnacles; a re-orientation of the world in favour of the ocean drawn on a collection of obsolete atlases; a work exploring what happens when two or more seas meet and a selection of drawings of and with seawater combine in an evocative presentation of the impact of the sea.

Drawing—both her own and other people’s—is a key part of Kovats’ practice. In 2007, she wrote The Drawing Book (Black Dog, 2007), and she has long been interested what drawing can do. For Oceans, she has made a new book, Drawing Water. Believing that drawing is a mechanism for exploration as much as a tool for representation, Kovats brings together in the book drawings by map-makers, writers, shipbuilders, whalers, soldiers, sailors, artists, archaeologists, cartographers, scientists, uranographers, engineers and dreamers—a diverse selection united by the sense that in making the drawing they were looking for something. A selection of Kovats’s own drawing and writing anchors the book which attempts to construct, in the artist’s words, ‘a portolan, a chart drawn at sea to guide a sailor from one safe harbour to the next.’

Drawing Water by Tania Kovats
Buy the new catalogue here.

Artist’s talk
Tuesday 25 March, 6:30pm; free
Tania Kovats in conversation with Fiona Bradley, Director of The Fruitmarket Gallery

Seminar: “Casting Nets”
Monday 28 April, 6–8pm
Nicholas Alfrey (Associate Professor, University of Nottingham), Penelope Curtis (Director, Tate Britain), Philip Hoare (author of The Sea Inside, 2013) and Stephanie Straine (Assistant Curator, Tate Liverpool) discuss Oceans, Tania Kovats’ practice, and the accompanying publication Drawing Water in relation to the British landscape tradition, Land Art and the exploratory nature of drawing. Chaired by Fiona Bradley.

Streams of Story: An evening of water tales
Thursday 24 April 6:30–8:30pm
Join us for a fun evening of water tastings, poetry and a chance to hear the stories from those collectors who helped Tania Kovats bring the world’s seas to The Fruitmarket Gallery in a slideshow presentation.

All talks are recorded and are available online. Booking is recommended—to guarantee your place, call +0131 226 8181 or email bookshop [​at​]


Tania Kovats at The Fruitmarket Gallery
The Fruitmarket Gallery
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