Watermeets: Nithsdale

Watermeets: Nithsdale was commissioned for the Environmental Art Festival Scotland (EAFS), August 2015. It was the first iteration of the Watermeets suite of performances.

Over three days leading up to the festival and during the two days of EAFS, Minty Donald and Nick Millar travelled by foot from the festival site, at Morton Castle, Nithsdale, to visit twenty-six river confluences. They borrowed a bottle of water from each branch of each confluence and took the bottles back to the festival site. Here, they performed a water-meeting ritual on each evening of the festival, witnessed by approximately sixty festival attendees. The bottles of borrowed water formed part of an installation mapping the rivers and streams that are accessible by foot from the festival site. Festival goers were invited to interact with the installation/water map. The installation was witnessed by approximately 300 festival attendees.

‘It’s really interesting that the water is collected before the rivers meet – you are making the introduction. It’s about the importance of making connections between people and water and landscape and past and future – different things coming together.’ Visitor to EAFS.

‘A nice linking of the human encounters and the nature encounters.’ Visitor to EAFS.

‘Seeing the artwork helped me to be more attuned to water. I noticed that there were little streams everywhere.’ Visitor to EAFS.

‘It opens our perception organs. Meeting with all your different senses.’ Visitor to EAFS.

‘I’m very aware of the water here – it’s everywhere – but I wouldn’t have thought about the meetings of different waters. There is something extraordinary and quietly impressive about river confluences.’ Visitor to EAFS.

We’re removed from the nature of water in our everyday lives: the content, the world the water has travelled. It makes you think about the diversity of water.’ Visitor to EAFS.

‘It’s a clever synthesis of landscape and artwork.’ Visitor to EAFS.