SFAI have partnered with the Land Arts of American West program from the University of New Mexico on the topic of Water Rights and I was invited to travel with them as visiting artist. Land Arts of the American West, at the University of New Mexico, is an ongoing experiment and interdisciplinary model for creative and critical arts pedagogy based in place. This program puts students in direct contact with place of the American Southwest through Field Investigations, Research, Creative Production, and Public Presentation/Dissemination. During the program, students travel extensively throughout the Southwest for up to 50 days, while camping and investigating environmental sites, human habitation systems, and questions facing the region. Methodologies include the melding of direct experience, critical research, creative inquiry, interdisciplinary collaboration, and artistic production.
My time with LAAW as visiting artist on this program was most enriching. I held many remedy sessions with the waters and collected samples. I have begun to work with various communities here through the medium of remedy sessions. This trans-disciplinary residency has enhanced my artistic development through the access of specialist international and native knowledge in the field of climatic studies. It has provided the opportunity to work collaboratively with artists in such a new environment, which has expanded the creative possibilities of my current practice through a merging of art and ecological methodologies.This process has lead to new creative strategies in terms of future practice that synthesise environmental science, land art and cultural exchange as well as the sharing of knowledge and remedies.
This work continued with Kaitlin Bryson when she came to Ireland in January of 2017, out of her element in the bog as I was out of my element in the desert. This work is in its early stages and is the first series of works in a larger collaborative project between Bryson and Le Gear.