2021 Naruto Whirlpools at the Wave Coventry

After the successful interactive installation work: Making Waves - the official event of ‘Hokusai, Beyond the Great Wave’ in the Great Court of the British Museum in 2017, Imada was approached by Rebecca Bollands, the Deputy Head of Howes Primary School of Coventry in 2018 to create an interactive installation work together with pupils from Coventry schools, initially planned for 2020. This was then planned to be a part of a big Japan Festival event to celebrate  the Tokyo Olympics in 2020. However, due to the Covid 19 pandemic, the event was postponed until 2021 and it had to be adjusted in various ways. However, the core part of this project remains the same and most of the elements initially planned are still there. 

The Making Waves project is formed of 3 parts. As a starting point Imada creates an installation work representing ‘Waves’ at The Wave Coventry, then then pupils see it and are inspired by it and make Japanese woodblock prints. Then Imada sets up another ‘Waves’ installation in Coventry Cathedral and together with the pupils add their prints onto it to create a giant Wave.

Imada traveled to Japan in summer 2019 to do research on the Naruto whirlpools as her initial installation was to be presented at the Wave Coventry where they have big spiral water sliders and she wanted to make some links to their shapes in her installation. Naruto whirlpools was a great spot to be inspired by in terms of the shapes and movements of the water, and we hope you can find something in common with it in this installation. Then Imada decided to print the whirlpool images using the woodblock printing technique so that the pupils will be able to see how visual images can be expressed using this method. 

During the lockdown, we all had the feeling that we had been trapped and dragged into a giant whirlpool that is out of control and that we cannot get out of, but now we are starting to see that there is an exit from it. This project continues with the Coventry Cathedral interactive installation and ‘Waves’ represented there, as a symbol of the way out of the pandemic and our hopes for the future. 

      © Hiroko Imada 2009