Shy Fountain has, to date, been realised twice – once temporally in the grounds of Haus am Waldsee, Berlin and once as a permanent public art work in Cannon’s Marsh, Harbour-side, Bristol.
In Bristol the viewer might glimpse in the distance a fountain playing on the paving stones of a new public space. However, upon approach, this apparition will suddenly disappear like a startled animal – leaving only splashes of water as a trace of its recent presence. Like a nervous creature, if the viewer remains absolutely still, the fountain will gradually reappear – slowly gaining in confidence and allowing the motionless visitor to witness a secret spectacle.
Shy Fountain is intended to be a mysterious and perplexing phenomenon. Bringing to mind the famous ‘tree that falls in a forest when no one is there to hear it’, the Shy Fountain asks – can something exist without being perceived?