On the island of North Uist, in the Outer Hebrides archipelago on the northwest coast of Scotland, a site-specific installation shows the impact of future climate change with a visual reference to rising sea levels.
The installation was created for the Taigh Chearsabhagh Museum & Arts Centre by the Finnish artists Pekka Niittyvirta and Timo Aho. In the village of Lochmaddy, the Taigh Chearsabhagh cannot develop on its existing site because of the risk of future storm surges. The rest of the island, which has been inhabited since the Neolithic period, faces the same risk.
Lines (57° 59′N, 7° 16’W) is activated at high tide when LED lights mark the future sea level. Lines of light wrap around the sides of buildings, over bridges, and along the base of nearby rocky hills. Everything below these lines of light will be underwater as sea levels rise.
Niittyvirta and Aho describe that “the installation explores the catastrophic impact of our relationship with nature and its long-term effects [and] provokes a dialogue on how the rising sea levels will affect coastal areas, its inhabitants and land usage in the future.”
Lines (57° 59′N, 7° 16’W) is supported by Arts Promotion Centre Finland and is on view at the Taigh Chearsabhagh Museum & Arts Centre through May 1, 2019.