Claire Tindale

Aquarium (2016)

(extract from larger installation; Filtering Through)

plastic pipe, acrylic, resin, wood, felt

dimensions variable




Aquarium, is an extract from the installation Filtering Through, commissioned by CFCCA, Manchester for the exhibition Health Records in 2016. It is one of a series of miniature domestic dioramas supported by a network of white plastic pipework. The larger installation from which it is derived was developed in response to the experience of working with patients on the  renal ward at the Manchester Royal Infirmary through a collaboration with Kidneys for Life.

Each platform houses an individual domestic vignette interpreted from fragments of conversations with patients at their hospital bedside. A favourite aspect of their home, a fondly remembered detail is transformed into a sculptural tribute to the individual concerned. The work draws parallels between domestic, biological and clinical processes, with the dialysis
process being subtly alluded to with the domestic waste water pipes. The dramatic, contrasting scales within the work lend the piece a surreal quality. Similarly, the medical process may initially seem to be an incredible work of fiction with a continuous flow between human and machine, waste products being removed by the mechanical filtration of blood.


The exaggerated scale of the waste water pipes simultaneously supports and dominates the diminutive domestic scenes. Personal items, snippets of home, punctuate the clinical environment of the hospital bay, providing a connection to that which is held dear offering a route back to normality. The medical intervention, essential to their recovery, but bringing with it disruption to daily life and separation from the patient’s home and all that is comfortable and familiar.