‘Although Magna Carta established the law and the nascent principles of human rights’, the artist explains, ‘the United Kingdom has no written constitution. What seems like a birthright has to be learned over and over and made sense of. Whether the words are ephemeral or everlasting is up to us.’ A viewer has to peer into the reflection of the water in order for the words to take on legibility. The light and hues of the space are governed by the circular skylight, which cites the formalism found in the Light and Space movement.
‘No free man shall be seized or imprisoned, or stripped of his rights or possessions, or outlawed or exiled, or deprived of his standing in any way, nor will we proceed with force against him, or send others to do so, except by the lawful judgment of his equals or by the law of the land.’—Clause 39, Magna Carta
Writ in Water is a collaboration between Mark Wallinger and Studio Octopi. It has been made possible with National Lottery funding through Arts Council England and the generous support of Art Fund, the Sigrid Rausing Trust, the Henry Moore Foundation and Lord and Lady Lupton. With additional support from Iwan and Manuela Wirth, Valeria and Rudolf Maag-Arrigoni and Harris Calnan.
Located on the meadows at Runnymede, Surrey, ‘Writ in Water’ is usually open seven days a week and is free to enter. For further information on current opening times please visit The National Trust.