Water and the Arts: an invitation

Dear friends and colleagues,

Today, there is a growing enthusiasm within the arts to engage with the urgent environmental challenges that surround us, and I have been pleased to contribute presentations on this subject at the past two WAMU-Net conferences. Now that the Network has been admitted into the UNESCO-IHP family, I would like to extend a warm invitation to fellow members to work with us in order to develop some initial projects together.

There are many reasons that suggest that increased collaboration between the arts and sciences can benefit both parties, and these are explained in more detail in my recent article in ‘The Environment’.

Most importantly, the arts can engage people in new and exciting ways that complement the work of the sciences and conventional education. I use the term ‘arts’ in the widest sense, to include community involvement, performance ie music, dance and theatre, the written word, lens-based and digital media, design and architecture as well as painting and sculpture. Collaboration can take the form of residencies, commissions, exhibitions and activities that involve artists and your staff which will enhance the experience of your existing visitors, encourage repeat visits and attract new audiences. It can also involve partnerships, skill-sharing and fundraising initiatives alongside other water museums.

As many will already know, the Centre for Contemporary Art and the Natural World (CCANW) is a charity that works across the arts to give people a deeper understanding of their responsibilities within and towards nature. Its most recent project Soil Culture became the UK’s most substantial contribution to the UN International Year of Soils, with its residency programme alone attracting 655 applications from artists in 39 different countries. Currently, our work includes several collaborations, including partnerships in the UK and South Korea on the Science Walden project.

Please do contact me with your ideas on how we might work together, but also news of what you might already be doing!

Clive Adams, founding director, CCANW