‘Eau’ The Story

Words and images by Deanna Shanahan

Water is life. Without water we cannot survive. Wherever men and women live it is a non-negotiable and essential element. The history of human habitation and settlement is a ‘history of water’. In Western Australia the importance of water is reflected in indigenous place names and the location of towns and settlements. Water doesn’t care for the things that separate us but is one of the things we share.

The ‘Museum of Water’ Exhibition at the Fremantle Arts Centre is a collection of donated bottles of water that are intended to capture the stories and precious memories that the water embodies and represents. This collection in many ways tells our own story. Commissioned by the Perth Festival, Amy Sharrocks, a United Kingdom artist, sculptor and filmmaker, invites people to come on a journey. Amy along with the Museum custodians has travelled the State meeting people and listening to their stories. They have turned water, and the precious and abiding memories it evokes, into art.

Water is a celebration. It bubbles and flows it sustains and entertains us. It is one of the abiding metaphors in our lives. This Exhibition encourages us to re-examine our connection with water, and to recognise and develop a new relationship with it.

Public donations of water evoke the stories of love life and death associated with it, both locally and in far away country. The ‘Museum of Water’ has been described as a ‘Mosaic of the Universe’. Why not donate your own bottle and add it to this amazing mosaic and become part of the story. Donations of bottles impressed with your memories can be taken to the Fremantle Arts Centre where those curating the Exhibition will gladly receive and incorporate them.

There is still time to share your stories. Find some ‘bottle’, choose your water and let it speak. The Exhibition runs until 23 March 2018. A ‘Museum of Water’ celebration day will be held at the Fremantle Leisure Centre on Sunday 4 March 2018 from 9am to 1 pm – when the following water events are scheduled: ‘Swimmer’s Manifesto’, ‘Synchronised Swimming’ and ‘Behind the Scenes Pool Tour’.

Check out perthfestival.com.au for further details.