Basia Irland

  • Repository/Backpack for A Gathering of Waters: Nisqually River, Source to Sound. Washington State. Cedar. Contains maps, hydrology reports, photographs, Logbook, Canteen, participant gifts 2009.
  • Repository/Backpack for A Gathering of Waters: Boulder Creek: Continental Divide to Confluence. Recycled truck inner-tubes. Contains maps, hydrology reports, photographs, Logbook, Canteen, participant gifts. 2007.
  • Installing Desert Fountain at Albuquerque Museum, which only works when there has been rain, thereby avoiding using groundwater and making visible the desert ecosystem. 2000.
  • Salmon River Night Sky. Carved wooden Salmon River Night Sky: book, salmon bones, estuary sand, salt. 2002.
  • Dam Book One: Carved wooden book, earth from site, copper. 2002.
  • Tome I Boulder Creek; Colorado. 250-pounds of ice. Seeds from Mountain Maple, Columbine flower, Blue Spruce. 2007
  • Book XXXI Rio Grande, New Mexico. Mountain Mahogany, (Cercocarpus montanus). 2009. Carved ice with Mountain Mahogany seed text.
  • Cleo reading cottonwood seed sentences on Tome II, Rio Grande. 2009. 300 pounds of carved ice. Photo; Claire Long
  • Installation of ice book photographs, video monitor, and trough into which ice book melted. 2010
  • Dracunculus Medinensis (Guinea Worm) Scroll II. Adalaj stepwell, Gujarat, India. 2005.

Fulbright Scholar, Basia Irland, is an author, poet, sculptor, installation artist, and activist who creates international water projects featured in her books, “Water Library” (University of New Mexico Press, 2007) and “Reading the River: The Ecological Activist Art of Basia Irland” (Museum De Domijnen, 2016). These books focus on projects the artist has created over four decades in Africa, Canada, Europe, South America, Southeast Asia, and the United States. Through her work, Irland offers a creative understanding of water while examining how communities of people, plants, and animals rely on this vital element. She is Professor Emerita, Department of Art and Art History, University of New Mexico, where she established the Arts and Ecology Program. She often works with scholars from diverse disciplines building rainwater harvesting systems; connecting communities and fostering dialogue along the entire length of rivers; filming and producing water documentaries; sculpting hand-carved ice books embedded with native riparian seeds; and creating waterborne disease projects around the world. Irland writes a blog for National Geographic about international rivers, written in the first person, from the perspective of the water. She lectures and exhibits extensively and recently presented the keynote lecture at an ecology conference, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. In 2016, she had a major retrospective exhibition at the Museum De Domijnen, Sittard, the Netherlands. Her projects have been featured in over 70 international publications. Check out her exuberant website: 

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  • Artist Info

    • Albuquerque, NM
      US - Mountain

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