Over 230 bird species have been recorded on site, along with a wide variety of butterflies, dragonflies and damselflies. The story of this site is fascinating - with an industrial past that has become a beautiful location for wildlife - and will inform the final WetLab theme of “Lifecycles”.
Food chains and processes of digestion and degradation, new life to be formed out of the old. Destruction, decay, nourishment and regeneration can all be seen as positive and necessary processes depending on the context. Wetlab will explore these themes along with the Turnpike Gallery and other local groups.
Join WetLab moored at Pennington Flash as we investigate systems of care and culture in and around our canals.
You are invited to join the canal in a guided ceremony designed in collaboration with xxx artist especially for you - a sequence of sipping, listening and sharing. We will be drinking in our surroundings, through sights, sounds and infusions of foraged plants. Learn about the herbal benefits of weeds, share your own stories of the canal and plants. We will infuse our anecdotes and knowledge and prepare ourselves for the day ahead.
Friday 10 – 1
Looking at combustible biomass briquettes + rocket stove + solar drier + floating gardens prototype, Informal tour of these 4 elements, where participants can press their briquette and hang it to dry on the solar drier. We will boil a kettle using the stove, as a demonstration of the system -
2-4pm DROP IN
Wild Soda &
Considering the theme of Life Cycles for this Wetlab stop, we will spend the morning exploring the life extending abilities of fermentation and food preservation. We will collaborate with the microscopic life forms that reside in the area but who’s hard work usually go unnoticed!
1) Join us as we explore the magical transformation of ingredients and flavours in natural fermented soda making, starting with a ginger ‘bug’ we can combine fruits and herbs to concoct any variety of flavour in this fun family accessible workshop. You’ll take home your own bottle of Soda.
2) We will then make Pennington Flash Tonics, by infusing local plants into our home-made apple cider vinegar sourced from Social Pickle in Sheffield. Vinegar has the ability to extract all the good stuff from plants, so we will be left with nutrient and flavour packed tonics that can be used for health as much as it can be to dress salads.
(Compost mentis may also do some live microscopic visuals for us inspecting the vinegar under the microscope! Talking about bacteria and gut health, but that is tbc, and could also happen at the meal instead).
10 – 1pm
Flash Fruit leather
The workshop will focus on the production of fruit leathers for humans and birds, using seasonal ingredients and foraged items which can be found around Pennington Flash. The workshop will combine the making of fruit leather mixtures (to be dehydrated by participants at home) and pre-dehydrated leathers to be hung around the natural reserve to attract endangered species of animals.
2 - 4pm
Wigan Canal Kebab
A meal inspired by local flavours of the canal and the Flash. We will be developing simple recipes which link to processes of food preservation (like pickling or fermenting and talking about gut bacterias) in conversation with collaborators Compost Mentis. Hannah and Ross’s “Social Pickle” project will be a departing point for these experimentations.
4 – 6.30pm
WetLab by public works + Assembly is commissioned by Abandon Normal Devices and Super Slow Way. Produced by Abandon Normal Devices for AND Festival 2021. Delivered in partnership with Canal & River Trust and Wigan Council. Supported using public funding by Arts Council England.