Professors Cynthia Hammond, Art History, Kelly Thompson, Studio Art/ Fibres, MJ Thompson, Art Education/FFAR, and Kathleen Vaughan, Art Education have been in dialogue about the relation between art, place, memory, and water since 2013. This dialogue has resulted in an exhibition of our work and the very early stages of an international pedagogical and research initiative (Lost Waters). Our core focus is: waters lost and found, that is, waters that have been lost through environmental degradation, urban development, or industry; likewise waters found, shared, and revalorized through cultural and collective practices. We are using our CISSC working group funding to deepen and formalize our exchange’s potential as interdisciplinary research.
Thus far, our work has been geared to personal and creative engagement with what Owain Jones calls “temporal ecologies of place/landscape”(in Jones, Read, Wylie 2013), and the concurrent - sometimes parallel - contingencies of subjectivity, identity, and place identification.
What we and many others cannot miss, however, is the ecological and social urgency of the themes that interest us, which have not (yet) been at the visual forefront of our practices. Using working group funding we are setting up a series of activities, readings/discussions, and public talks that will collectively explore the emotional geographies of water, cities, landscapes, and creativity in relation to questions of social and environmental ecology, and environmental justice.
Cynthia Hammond, Art History