Western Suburbs Weekly - - News - Tanya MacNaughton

UK live artist, sculp­tor and film­maker Amy Sharrocks has in­ves­ti­gated the lure of water in her works for more than 10 years.

The mother-of-three has in­vited peo­ple to float on swim­ming pools in a boat, tied 65 peo­ple to­gether with a rib­bon and trekked along Lon­don’s lost Wal­brook River with them.

Three years ago she was in­vited by the Lon­don School of Hy­giene and Trop­i­cal Medicine to make a piece com­mem­o­rat­ing John Snow’s dis­cov­ery of cholera as a wa­ter­borne dis­ease.

Just as Snow walked the streets of Lon­don, ask­ing peo­ple how they lived and piec­ing to­gether the jig­saw puz­zle of their days to find the dis­ease’s source, Sharrocks cre­ated the Mu­seum of Water by invit­ing peo­ple to bring along any bot­tle of any water and tell their story of why it was so pre­cious to them.

Mu­seum of Water has been made in the UK and Nether­lands and now the Perth In­ter­na­tional Arts Fes­ti­val has cho­sen Sharrocks as a PIAF artist in res­i­dence.

She was in Perth last week to pre­pare ahead of bot­tle col­lec­tion at next Fe­bru­ary’s fes­ti­val, fol­lowed by a big in­stal­la­tion of all the water in 2018 be­fore be­com- ing part of the WA Mu­seum’s per­ma­nent col­lec­tion.

“This piece isn’t about me com­ing with a lot of bot­tles and say­ing ‘Come and look at what I’ve got’; it’s a piece that says ‘What can we make to­gether?’,” Sharrocks said.

“I’m just a way to be­gin a con­ver­sa­tion but re­ally it’s about peo­ple here and your ex­pe­ri­ence of water and what you tell me.

“It’s stag­ger­ing what peo­ple have brought and what they choose to trea­sure.

“The best mo­ment of my day is when some­one sits down, they put a bot­tle in the mid­dle of us and I get to say ‘What’s in your bot­tle?’ and then they blow my mind.”

“Our job as mu­seum cus­to­di­ans is to re­mem­ber what you tell us and we pass it on; it’s an au­ral tradition.”

Sharrocks said she was ex­cited about ap­proach­ing the WA cli­mate with its dif­fer­ent is­sues, prob­lems and joys sur­round­ing water.

“Water is the scene and in­sti­ga­tion of our great­est joys – sum­mer water fights in the gar­den, jump­ing in the sea, boat­ing on the river – but it is also present dur­ing our deep­est pain; it’s the tears we cry,” she said.

“Some­one said it was life and death and all the wash­ing up in be­tween.

“I have the water from the bed­side ta­ble af­ter a night full of dreams and I have tears of joy from a man on hear­ing he’d been or­dained a priest.

“It’s a live art­work but in some ways the live art­work has al­ready hap­pened and what is in the mu­seum is only the retelling of a jour­ney some­one has al­ready gone on, what­ever that jour­ney is.

“The mu­seum is also a space for gath­er­ing: come and look at the water, come and have a glass of water from our Water Bar for the sense of be­ing in an ex­tra­or­di­nary po­si­tion to have ac­cess to fresh water.

“Not ev­ery­body in the world has that.”

Pic­ture: An­drew Ritchie­mu­ni­ d462042

PIAF artist in res­i­dence Amy Sharrocks wants peo­ple to share their thoughts about water in the Perth In­ter­na­tional Arts Fes­ti­vall project Mu­seum of Water.

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