Double Negative

Charles Monkhouse

  A lightwork that explores the bed of Coniston Water. One of a series that works under the cover of dark to reveal what is hidden by the light of day

dates: 7th – 13th October. 6-8pm


location:Park-a-Moor Pier, Nr Coniston


directions : Situated on the east side of Coniston Water, two thirds of the way down from the north. The road passes immediately next to the pier and there is a good car park on the other side of the road. Bring a torch.


We usually encounter a lake as a surface whose appearance owes more to the deception of mirror than the transparency of glass. In the English Lake District, mountains reflected on water suggest the lake takes the form and colour of its perfect inverse. In reality lakes are more murky and mysterious. A more uncertain world lies under these surfaces. Uncleansed by waves or swift currents, the moraines and silts of not only geological history line these lakebeds. Two lines of lights, the width of double oars, float on the surface and stretch out deep in to the lake. We see them from the top, but their light is directed downwards and the bottom of the lake is illuminated.
Below the surface, tubes of light flicker: from stem to transom; across thwarts and ribs; through rowlocks to futtocks; parts of ancient clinker built boats are lost to the memory of the lake.