Submerged Identities
by Lulu Quinn

image of a brass cylinder with a projection inside


  • 1Installation shot from Submerged Identities
  • 2Installation shot from Submerged Identities
  • 3Installation shot from Submerged Identities
  • 4Installation shot from Submerged Identities

Installation shot from Submerged Identities


Submerged Identities was a site specific video installation, the first work of its kind to be presented at Tate Gallery St Ives.

Located in the centre of the space a large copper tunnel projected out into the gallery. This tunnel framed a video sequence of sea tides pulling back over an image of a sewage tunnel receding in the distance. A cycle of images was overlaid as a hand emerged to throw or catch a sliver ball, a testimonial to the traditional ceremony of hurling in St Ives, a feature of the annual feast day. From the copper sewage tunnel the viewer turned to a ceiling projection above, which threw the sea tides of Porthmeor Beach across the gallery space, linking the images of the receding tide in the tunnel and the actual view of Porthmeor Beach outside the gallery.

The theme of Cornish culture was explored through sequences, images and sounds reflecting aspects of its disappearing history, from currently endangered industries to language. The soundtrack accompanying the tunnel sequences mixed the sound of the sea swell to a receding reading of Tristan and Isolde by the Cornish bard George Anstell. This was underlaid by a succession of sounds; the shriek from a Cornish Chough, the pulsating beat of old water pumps taken form closed tin mines with a drone from the new electric pumps that drive the current sewage systems in Hayle and Penzance. There was also the sound of fish packing in Newlyn Harbour, and industry in decline and under real threat for its very existence. All of these sounds were housed and amplified within the large copper tunnel, a reference to the lost copper industry in Hayle. Hayle is also nearby to the new sewage works, which process and treats waste in the St Ives region today.


Year 1995
Original format
Screening format
Aspect ratio
Colour / B&W

Screening history:

23 September - 29 October 1995
Tate Gallery, St Ives, UK

Related Items:

Lulu Quinn

Lulu Quinn has worked with Picture This in a variety of ways since 1992; as both a commissioned artist and to supporting other projects.