Artists Rowena Pearce and Tim Millar
Composer Helen Ottaway
Sound designer Alastair Goolden

Voices Melanie Pappenheim
and Caroline Radcliffe
Violin Anne Wood

Flowing tears quenching the burnt earth as Phaeton’s sisters mourn their brother after his terrible and destructive fall – this is the main inspirational image for Lachrymae (Latin: tears). Phaeton’s sisters are turned to trees and their tears, transformed to amber in the heat of the sun, are carried away by the river to become adornments for Roman brides. Thus something of beauty is created and the sadness transcended. Transformation and the emergence of life from water are common themes in the work of Rowena Pearce and Helen Ottaway. Through this story these themes are drawn together, making tears and laments, blending and merging the visual and aural into a single experience. Lachrymae is an exploration of music and visual art through movement.

“Cortex in verba novissima venit. Inde fluent Lachrymae
(The bark closed over their last words. Then the tears flowed)” [Ovid, Metamorphoses]
“…tree bark, rough and furrowed, crept on upwards over their bodies, throats, faces…….
Through that bark, there oozed lymph like tears……….” [Ted Hughes, Tales from Ovid]

Lachrymae exists as an indoor interactive installation, an outdoor site-responsive installation and as a virtual sound walk located in Chapel Coppice. Ashley Chase Estate, near Abbotsbury in Dorset.

Virtual Lachrymae
In collaboration with Satsymph, Artmusic has created a virtual version of Lachrymae which can be experienced via GPS using a smart phone. Part of the South Dorset Ridgeway Landscape Partnership’s Ridgeway Sounds apps. Satsymph creates GPS-triggered immersive soundworlds. Download App1 here.

Performance Information and History
Lachrymae (outdoors)

24-26 September 2022, 10.00 am – 5.00 pm
National Trust Fyne Court, Bridgewater, Somerset
in association with The Arborealists, part of Somerset Art Weeks 2022

Bommengat, Terschelling, The Netherlands 2016
Part of the EXPEDITIE programme at the Oerol Festival.

Oerol (Literal translation: Everywhere) is a festival which takes place on a sandbar island in the North of Holland. Every June, the island of Terschelling in the Wadden Sea is transformed for ten days into a unique natural stage for theatre, dance, street theatre, art and music. See the 2016 Oerol programme here.

Chapel Coppice, Ashley Chase Estate, near Abbotsbury, Dorset
Part of Ridgeway Responses, Inside Out Dorset 2014
Commissioned by Activate for Inside Out Dorset Festival.
Supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund through the South Dorset Ridgeway Landscape Partnership, West Dorset District Council, Dorset County Council and Arts Council England.

The Avenue of Trees, Wandsworth Park, London SW15
For The Shimmy 2013
produced by Artsadmin
with live performance by Emma Smith, Jennymay Logan and Vincent Sipprell of the Elysian String Quartet and 12 members of The Festival Chorus.

Lachrymae (indoors)
Black Swan Arts, Gallery 2
Frome Festival 2001

The Gallery, Shave Farm, near Bruton
Somerset Art Week 2000


Lachrymae, a film by Alastair Goolden and Al Morrison

A sneak visit to Chapel Coppice  Lachrymae from Alastair Nisbet – ScreenPLAY on Vimeo.

What is a Lachrymatory? view a short preview film

A CD is available, see our sales page