Museum of Water, London, UK/travelling
Museum of Water is a museum and live artwork, which invites people to gather water: any water in any bottle. It is an invitation to re-consider water for ourselves and to notice the ways it moves through our days, encouraging people to look closely at this extraordinary substance and detail the way it impacts on our lives. We ask people, if you could keep one water, what would you keep? We have over 1200 bottles in the collection worldwide, each of which details a different way of looking at water.
The Museum began in 2013 and has travelled to over 50 sites worldwide, touring across the UK, Europe and Western Australia over the last 4 years. This unusual museum has enjoyed spectacular public engagement: Museum of Water has been visited by over 65,000 people, and was nominated for European Museum of the Year 2016. We present a radical challenge to previous systems of collecting and to traditional processes and economies: we treasure a substance and experience that we cannot hold onto, the process of evaporation itself.
This Museum houses a collection that is entirely publicly donated, and prizes the gifts people have given us, just as they come. This makes each one of us donor, artist and curator, changing the relationship between the Museum and the public. Every act of choosing and gathering is a creative act, each bottle and contents a profound undertaking that commemorates a reaching out to nature with our minds and bodies. This is a museum that remembers your words: there are custodians who look after the bottles, who can explore the collection with you, accession new bottles, who listen carefully and who remember your phrases.
Museum of Water is an act of witness to our lives lived with water. The Museum provides a platform for different voices and is an instigating force for future care of the planet. Through our close scrutiny and careful ways of listening, we support individual responsibility and bravery for the coming century: how to look more closely and not look away.
Museum of Water was founded by Artist Amy Sharrocks and is produced by Artsadmin in London, UK.
Museum website: www.museumofwater.co.uk