“When the well is dry, we know the worth of water.”
Transparent, tasteless, odourless and colourless. Necessary for drinking, washing, transportation, farming, rituals, recreation – the list is endless. Almost literally everywhere, covering about 71% of the planets surface. We can’t live without it and yet we are prone to take it for granted.
The water we use today has been circulating through the planet since the beginning of time and must sustain us for as long as we live.
Artists have been representing water for centuries. Botticelli’s The Birth of Venus, Hockney’s A Bigger Splash or The Great Wave off Kanagawa by Hokusai are but a few famous examples. Water has been depicted to represent change – forever flowing and changing course. It has symbolised purity and cleansing. It is used to frame a sea or landscape or be the focal point of a painting such as Frida Kahlo’s What the Water Gave Me.
In the summer of 2023 artist book makers were invited to submit artworks on the theme of water. 42 artists have been selected, exhibiting over 80 books that are representational, abstract, polemical, thought provoking and beautiful.
The exhibition is co-curated with Edinburgh based artist bookmaker and tutor Susie Wilson.
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