The floods showed how vulnerable our industrialized society is to an extreme weather event. The iconic image of Tewkesbury Abbey as an island bought to mind Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s, Rime of the Ancient Mariner – ‘water, water everywhere, but nor any drop to drink’. The poem was written in 1798 and the ‘mariner’ was trapped in the ice in the Antarctic Ocean, until an albatross shows them the way out,… and the mariner kills it. This somehow seems allegorical.
The exhibition also looks at inequality and social justice - today 1.1 billion people lack access to clean water. The UN reports that without action 7 billion people could face water scarcity by 2050. An estimated 2.6 billion people currently do not have water for decent sanitation
Finally we look at renewable energy from our island nation, which could kick start a Green New Deal, providing many needed jobs and ‘keeping the lights on’, without building new coal fired power stations.