The Salmon School Exhibition at Balmoral Castle
For the first time ever, as part of the Platinum Jubilee “Life at Balmoral” exhibition 2022, Balmoral Castle will be showcasing a piece of contemporary art, ‘Salmon School’, a sculpture by world-renowned artist Joseph Rossano. The installation will take centre stage at the Platinum Jubilee exhibition in the Ballroom at Balmoral Castle, “From the River to the Royals”, between April 1 to August 2 2022.
‘Salmon School’ is a contemporary sculpture – an installation consisting of 300 mirrored glass forms, suspended in the air to appear as a school of wild salmon. The idea behind the installation is to highlight the plight of wild salmon and the importance of salmon conversation, as climate change and biodiversity loss threaten their existence in the wild.
First conceived and shown in the US Pacific Northwest, ‘Salmon School’ was then showcased at COP26, the UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, November 2021. Addressing the issue of saving wild salmon from the threat of extinction, the installation presents the iconic fish, which needs cold, clean water to thrive, as a bellwether of climate change.
The artwork will form part of an exhibition entitled “Life at Balmoral” which will run from April 1 to August 2 – celebrating all life at Balmoral “from the River to the Royals”, and will provide a fitting tribute to the decades of salmon conservation work supported by The Queen, the Royal Family and the Balmoral Estate on the River Dee over the last 170 years.
The Balmoral Estate works closely with the River Dee Trust to deliver practical salmon restoration to help protect the endangered fish. Most recently, across Deeside, the River Dee Trust and Dee District Salmon Fishery Board have introduced a ‘One Million Trees’ campaign to plant riverbank trees, to help restore the Dee and save its iconic salmon. Trees have multiple benefits in helping wild salmon to thrive, including providing shade over the water, nourishment through leaves and insects, and helping to stabilise the riverbanks to prevent erosion. The Balmoral Estate have already planted 300,000 trees along the River Dee in the last five years.
The environmental stewardship work to protect wild salmon also includes using windblown trees to create large wooden structures in the rivers on the Estate, to offer a variety of salmon habitats, which in turn give shelter from bad weather and trap nutrients. Small wooden dams have also been created in the Estate’s smaller streams to help river flows in times of flood and drought. The Estate hopes to create the best conditions for the salmon to thrive and is delighted to present this new installation to highlight the importance of salmon conversation.
Artist Joseph Rossano said, “The Salmon School is an international collaborative performance project that contextualises the finality of a seemingly infinite resource. A synthesis of art and science, The Salmon School fosters environmental awareness, bringing together diverse communities for a greater good — cold, clean water. Embracing art’s ability to disarm, to make something beautiful — a sculpture mimicking an ideal, a restored ecosystem — the project achieves measurable change through its actions and initiatives.”
The sculpture’s display is concurrent with a riverine eDNA project, supported by The River Dee Trust, The Missing Salmon Alliance and Atlantic Salmon Federation. The Prince of Wales is Patron of the Atlantic Salmon Trust and Salmon & Trout Conservation.
Made from glass – an endlessly recyclable material – ‘Salmon School’ reminds us that art need not wastefully consume resources. The sculpture’s supporting structure, created in partnership with The Balmoral Estate, Eckersley O’Callaghan, Tor Workshop and Rossano Studios, is itself recycled, made from wind-felled Balmoral spruce.
Online Event - Yes
Country - United Kingdom
Name of contact person - The Salmon School