The Blue Violet River \\ Anita Fontaine

“I want to update the conventional guided tour into something magical that weaves together science fiction, environmental themes and local architecture into a future fairytale – as seen from the River Mersey Ferry” – Anita Fontaine

Eyes floating on the River Mersey opening and closing, with rainbow overhead

Visitors stepped aboard the iconic Mersey Ferry to inhabit a fantasy-fiction world exploring an evolved reality brought about by climate change, rising sea levels and tropical climates. 

Using augmented reality (AR), artist Anita Fontaine invited the viewer to leave perceptions of reality ashore, encountering a kaleidoscopic world of psychedelic sculptures exploding from land and water. The Liverpool skyline playfully shapeshifted, revealing a surreal alternate reality of our local urban landscape in The Blue Violet River. 

The work was experienced by passengers via eight custom-built, tablet-based viewfinders on the decks of the Mersey Ferry. An abstract, physical, pop-up performance ritual during each cruise (Friday – Sunday), featured costumed inhabitants of the River, from Anita’s Fontaine’s future fairytale.

The Blue Violet River playfully envisioned a peaceful future vision of evolved humanity, freed from an unsustainable past and tuned into a new core consciousness of planetary sound frequencies. From the river’s intercontinental trade to the regular blooms of moon jellyfish drawn in by tidal currents, our post-industrial perspective of the River Mersey playfully warped in this future-forward techno fantasy. Read about the process of developing The Blue Violet River in Creative Review.

AND Festival 2021 // The Blue Violet River

The Blue Violet River by Anita Fontaine is commissioned and produced by Abandon Normal Devices. Supported using public funding by Arts Council England, with further support from Wirral Borough Council and Merseytravel.

Creative Director: Anita Fontaine
3D Artist: Ignas Blažys
Writer: Kris Hermansson
Fabrication: Adam Sadiq & M3 Industries
Software Developer: Grigor Todorov
Sound Design: Trent Williams
Voiceover: Rachel Barker
Choreography: Maria Malone
Performers: Elias Dubicki, Onyx Hinds, Maria Malone, Pei Tong
Costume & Flags: Mariel Osborn
Producer: Tricia Coleman
Production Manager: David Berger
Technical Operator: Andrew Hunt
Special thanks to McCann Manchester, Fox & Co & Chris Mullany.

Event info:

  • Thu 24th — Sun 27th Jun 2021
    @ 10am - 4pm (Thu + Fri), 10am - 5pm (Sat + Sun)
  • Mersey Ferries
  • £11 Adult, £7 Child, £9.50 Concession. Children under 5 go free + family tickets available

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