Life on earth emerged in water, water is our grandmother and she is ill, with its inhabitants choking on microplastics and on oil leaks. Being Water grew an attempt to communicate the urgency of the climate emergency with a focus on our interdependence and intimate kinship with the element of water.
Water pollution, especially by plastic, is a recurring theme in Catizone’s work.
The performances in Being Water developed from Light, Plastic, Water, a video previously created by Catizone and featuring a sound track by Robin Sherry Wood.
For Sculpture in Context 2018, in Dublin’s Botanical Gardens, Catizone displayed Light, Plastic, Water video and soundtrack, as well as her sculptural works, made with up-cycled plastic to create an immersive environment.
The series of three performances sought to activate the space with a necessary sense of loss for our diminished environment and also with play and hope for appropriate action. Participants were invited to observe, to follow in a procession to the stream, where an old bottle of holy water, found in an abandoned house, was poured into the living water running through the Gardens. Viewers were then invited to return to the exhibition space for a conversation on our experiences of the ecological crisis.
The use of UV light during the performance referred to the fluorescence of deep sea creatures. Lists of names of extinct and at risk water flora and fauna were written in ultraviolet ink and were sourced from the Marine Life section of the IUCN Red List.
The artist adopted the persona of Grandmother Water which allowed her to embody concern for future generations on this planet. The symbiotic relationship between the human body and water ( cellular, inter cellular, lymph, blood, cerebro-spinal, synovial fluids etc....) were explored during the movement sequences in the performances.
Most people worry about the planet, allowing open discussion and a ritualised set of gestures facilitated the groups to connect to feelings of sadness, grief and fear. This emotional awareness is the foundation of all ecological activism, whether through art or direct action.