News & Events

Kick-off meeting for the WaterLANDS Artistic Engagement Residency

Published: Monday, 22 May, 2023

Screenshot of first WaterLANDS zoom meeting

Last week the WaterLANDS project held a virtual kick-off meeting with seven artists selected for its four-year artistic engagement residency programme.

WaterLANDS (Water-based Solutions for Carbon Storage, People and Wilderness) is a Horizon 2020 funded project, co-hosted by the Earth institute with the School of Architecture, Planning and Environmental Policy.  The project aims to restore wetland sites across six European sites and lay the foundations for scalable protection across much wider areas.

A key element of the project is its artist in residence programme, which will play a central role in the project’s communication and knowledge strategies. The scheme invited artists to apply to engage with one of the six wetland ‘Action Sites’ (specific sites in the project where restoration will take place) in Bulgaria, Estonia, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands and United Kingdom.

The residencies are part time and will run for four years. Artists are asked to reflect on the journey of their Action Site and through this WaterLANDS hopes to engage communities, increase awareness of the importance of restoration and to create and share knowledge across the project and beyond.

The call received almost 500 applications of high quality and diversity across the six Action Site countries. The evaluation and selection process was carried out by local representatives with oversight by UCD as WaterLANDS coordinator and input from an external artistic expert Dr Alexandra Ross from the University of Glasgow. Collaboratively, artists were shortlisted and interviewed and a final selection was agreed.

Dr Shane McGuinness, WaterLANDS Deputy Coordinator, UCD, said “Restoration brings cultural as well as ecological renewal. Through these residencies we want art to be an integral part of creating and reflecting that renewal. We were amazed and delighted to receive so many outstanding applications from all kinds of artists with excellent ideas to work with the wetland sites, restoration teams and local communities.”

The successful artists are Maria Nalbantova (Bulgaria), Elo Liiv (Estonia), Christine Mackey (Ireland), Claudio Beorchia (Italy), Marjolijn Dijkman (Netherlands), and Laura Harrington and Fiona MacDonald (Feral Practice) (working together in United Kingdom).  Full details of the artists are available on the WaterLANDS website.