Water is Life

This piece is part of the Virtual Water Gallery, a project funded by the Global Water Futures program.

Interlacing arts, science, and perspectives for explorations in indigenous water management

This is an artistic collaboration between Mushkego (Cree) artist Patrick Cheechoo and Rebeka Ryvola, in partnership with the Matawa Water Futures research team, Sarah Cockerton, Laura Prior, and Terry Mitchell. Together, they have provided a beautiful visual confirmation of the potential of braiding together western and Indigenous views and strengths central to a two-eyed seeing approach to water science.

Our Virtual Water Gallery team took a co-led approach to this art project. Four Rivers was pleased to reach out to Matawa Member artist, Patrick Cheechoo, to help root the piece in Matawa values. Patrick was asked to create the first layer of the painting which he titled WATER IS LIFE, which was to represent the indigenous perspective. Next, our project partner artist Rebeka Ryvola, was asked to work on the second layer, visually adding the western science perspective where it best fit. This layered approach was chosen to signify how Indigenous people’s values and vision can be incorporate effectively into regional frameworks. The painting was passed back and forth between the artists, while maintaining conversations with the larger project team throughout. The artists chose to create a second piece of art which speaks to the keenness to work together. Respect, communication, and willingness to learn were integral in the process and this art project was therefore a success.

To visit the Virtual Water Gallery please go to https://www.virtualwatergallery.ca/ . This gallery contains the project narratives, artists biographies, photos, and more! Enjoy!