Silvia is an artist working with organic sculpture to explore creative pathways for the knowledges, skills and practices of artists to help inform and enable more sustainable water environment-human relations. Her canvas or living lab is Walthamstow Wetlands an important focus for the Hydrocitizenship work in the Lee Valley case study. A self-labeled ‘artist in residence’ she has made the wetlands her artistic home for the last nine months. Immersed in this space and using it as inspiration for her art and subject for her research findings our paths of exploration crossed in Autumn 2015 and we have worked together since then to share ideas and to deliberate over our respective findings. This has been a serendipitous collaboration with both parties playing the role of research participant, special adviser, facilitator and co-researcher for the other. The flow of ideas has manifest through the everyday participatory devices of conversations, sharing and relationships. This has involved: taking part in guided walks and talks around the wetlands together; acting as mutual network builders to enable knowledge and skills to be shared and relationships built; and engaging in active deliberation via informal social media interactions and through the more formal channel of our respective interviews. This process has helped us evolve our thinking around the wide ranging relations expressed at the wetlands in terms of how citizens value, understand and relate to water, wetlands flora and fauna, water resource management, industrial water heritage and this water landscape more broadly. While we have used different approaches to exploring ideas around what we call ‘hydrocitizenship’, there is a good deal of common ground in our thematic findings, and this ongoing process of research collaboration has for me highlighted the importance of multi-disciplinary teams working together to explore and understand hydro-social relations.
[Dr Jo Orchard-Webb, Research Fellow, Lee Valley Team]
Silvia reflected on our interactions, "Collaboration and ideas exchange with Hydrocitizenship has been a valuable contribution to my art practice. In fact, it has been a crucial part of my research process. It's really exciting and I’m looking forward to our further activities expanding our common water-people ground."
To learn more about Silvia's findings link through to her website and recent blog post here: https://silviakrupinska.wordpress.com/2016/03/15/january-february-march/
For more information on the Walthamstow Wetlands: http://www.walthamstow-wetlands.org.uk/