Ep 53: Water Conversations with Anna Macleod
This episode is a part of the”Sustainability is a Buzzword” mini-season: a series of conversations about conservation, water, agriculture, creativity, and everyday life that took place in Paonia, CO. It’s the result of an artist-in-residence program at Elsewhere Studios.
Anna Macleod is a visual artist and independent researcher based in Leitrim, Ireland. Her work mediates complex ideas associated with contemporary, historical, and cultural readings of place through a variety of methods, strategies, and processes.
She employs quasi-scientific methods, interdisciplinary collaboration, performance, and socially engaged activism to critique contemporary landscapes and to build metaphoric spaces for re-imagining the future.
I had the pleasure of getting to know Anna and her work throughout the month I spent at Elsewhere. The woman is a wealth of knowledge on all topics surrounding water — it’s usage, history, religious and cultural relevancy across the globe, and more. We dig into all of it, plus how and why she built her socially engaged art practice as a full-time career. Listen above or on iTunes or Spotify.
In this episode, we talk about:
- how Anna’s ongoing series, “Water Conversations” came to be
- Ireland’s history of social inequality and government inaction and how both have evolved
- what gave her the confidence to leave teaching and become a full-time professional artist again
- what drew her to socially engaged art and how she built a career in it
- her nearly lifelong interest in politics and how that’s impacted her work
- how artists in Ireland generally support and sustain their careers
- how water is viewed ethically and socially in various regions across the globe
- how our disconnection to water in developed countries makes us wasteful
- her performance art
- the role psychological disavowal has played in creating climate issues
- how she relates to and communicates with people of differing opinions
- how to conserve water in your garden and yard
- how faith systems around water cut deep into the human psyche
- how resources will have to be shared into the future
- her process for choosing the formats for projects in various regions
- how to be acutely aware if you’re at risk of appropriating culture or someone else’s work
- her research and creation process
Resources mentioned in this episode:
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