Water Paths

a creative and participatory arts project, by artists Chelsea Canavan and Deirdre Power, engaging local communities by way of the river Shannon

water paths is an interdisciplinary creative project aiming to visually contextualise the intricate channels of community ecology and the comprehension of scientific data in relation to the River Shannon Shannon River.

Through engagement with communities of interest and  their already established citizen science practice, the projected outcome will lead to merging the ecology of citizen’s with a visual representation of the data they have been collecting.

By navigating these shared spaces as socially engaged artists the project aims to reveal a visual narrative through uniquely designed flags where the relations between various citizens’ science practice, such as the Limerick’s Narwhal swimmers, convey a story to the broader public. The artists will continuously apply their methodology of community engagement and allow the creative co-creation to be determined by the data, views, and knowledge provided by the community members.

Working with local river communities on the Water Paths Archive and river data. Photo courtesy of the artist Deirdre Power.

Water Paths is also a contributing project to the The School of Looking’s Eco Showboat Project. The Eco Showboat is a zero carbon floating environmental arts infrastructure that aims to navigate our network of interconnected inland waterways to spark new creative collaborations addressing climate change, fresh water ecology and biodiversity, working closely with local artists, scientists, academics and the wider community.

You can learn more about the Eco Showboat and what we do with this project here ->

*Water Paths enacts a socially engaged practice, also referred to as social practice or socially engaged art.

Our methodology and outcomes can include any artform which involves people and communities in conversation, collaboration or social interaction. Our gatherings, meet-ups and workshops are often organised as the result of a shared interest and connected network with the engaged community group. The participatory element of our socially engaged practice is key, with the artworks created often holding equal or less importance to the collaborative act of creating them. Water Paths continually adheres to the fact that our interactions, communications and relationships building within this social practice is ‘art that’s socially engaged, where the social interaction is at some level the art.’