Surface Tensions installation at Mottisfont

A collage of photographs and artwork by Simon Ryder

24 April - 1 November, 10am-5pm: underwater photography, virtual reality fly-tying and a specially commissioned soundtrack by composer Bartholomew Mason celebrate the work of F.M. Halford, father of modern dry-fly fishing, and explore the ecological significance of the River Test.

Artist Simon Ryder describes his practice as that of an ‘investigative artist’, the journey of discovery for each new project being an integral part of the final work. This often includes the use of enhanced ways of seeing, such as infrared imaging, CT scanning, sound visualisation and data-driven animation.

Initially trained as a zoologist (BSc Zoology, Bristol University) prior to studying art (MA Fine Art, Royal College of Art), his work flows between art and science, fact and fiction, always with the aim of revealing new perspectives relevant to our times.

Creating Surface Tenstions

Simon is currently carrying out a period of research on the River Test at Mottisfont, with a particular emphasis on the history and significance of Mottisfont in the development of fly-fishing.

He's working closely with Mottisfont’s River Keeper, Neil Swift, to represent and reimagine the river’s narrative – past, present and future – and create a new multimedia piece for installation in the Cellarium. This will offer a new perspective on the story of our relationship with the river, its management and ecology.

You can follow the progress of Simon’s residency via his blog on Instagram: @surface.tensions