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Mammon Can’t Swim

No one can serve two masters… you cannot serve both God and mammon - Matthew 6: 19-21,24

The success of Crammond -see the next page- had left me eager to try and create more night-long ‘utopias’ on islands. Moving to London after university I scoped out Lot’s Ait, an uninhabited island in the Thames which had once been a boat yard but in 2009 felt quite post-apocalyptic with trees growing out of abandoned machinery, roofless, bramble-tangled hangars, and semi-submerged hulks.

Like Crammond you could walk out to Lot’s Ait at low tide, but unlike Crammond there was no causeway, just a morass of knee-deep stinking riverine mud, so come the event we ferried people across by rowing boat. The name referenced mammon, a biblical catch-all term to describe the lust for wealth. The format was the same as I’d used in Scotland: a ‘private view’ of site-specific installations followed by a party. At midnight we launched a five-meter-long coracle which we’d made on the island from saplings growing there, cotton string, canvas and tar. The ambition was to circumnavigate the Lot’s Ait, but the boat took on water so rapidly that we had to clamber ashore after only a few minutes.

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