Call for Submissions: Indigenous Co-Creator for Museum of Water Ontario 2021/22

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Image: Ben Blossom

Museum of Water 2021/22
CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS: Co-Creator

Contract Dates: April – July 2021 (renewable in 2022)

About Museum of Water:
Museum of Water is a live artwork and collection of publicly donated water that tells stories of the people and places it comes from. It is an invitation to ponder this precious liquid, to think with water and to learn along its wavelengths. Artist Amy Sharrocks began collecting for Museum of Water on a street corner in central London in March 2013, before the Museum travelled across the UK for 3 years. Museum of Water has since travelled to different parts of Europe and across Western Australia. It will launch in Toronto as part of Luminato Festival 2021.

Museum of Water Ontario – Seeking Indigenous Co-Creator:
We are seeking an Indigenous Co-Creator to work in collaboration with Amy Sharrocks to imagine together what a Museum of Water Ontario might look like. An ideal Co-Creator is passionate about water and the stories of this land in relation to water. They have a curiosity or connection to the current knowledges of Ontario’s bodies of water, rivers, and tributaries and their significances pre-contact. They have an interest in speaking with people and listening closely to their stories; they are keen to investigate water knowledges as a collective and to think how the states of water and its fluid understandings might help us to challenge prevalent systems and imaginaries. They may be an artist, writer, activist, curator or all of the above.

This year the museum will be an online experience, and the Co-Creator is an artistic partnership role that will help to develop and design the initial virtual offering, which will then carry through to a physically-realized residency planned for Luminato Festival 2022. At present, the plan is to dismantle and adapt a form of virtual mapping so that it can support memory, not forgetting, and supporting water knowledges across Ontario.

The Co-Creator role entails:

  • Co-development of a virtual mapping artwork, exploring together the platform and format, histories and artistic intentions, design and materials (to be logistically delivered by coders/web designers)
  • Co-devise the methodologies for gathering contributions of water stories to the map – who will we reach out to, why and how?
  • Co-write/author texts that go with the artwork – curatorial texts but also marketing texts and call outs
  • Co-curate the public events programme

This call is also open to a group or collective interested in sharing the Co-Creator role.
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Image: Bo Wong

This project is supported by a producing team at Luminato and the Co-Creator would be committing to weekly virtual production meetings, in addition to curatorial work sessions, as required. The contract for the initial phase offers a fee of $10,000 CAD (plus applicable HST) and would start from April 2021 – July 2021, with a second contract to carry the project through to June 2022, when there would be expected travel to Toronto.

This is an invitation to work together in collective action, with a commitment to equal development of the work. We hope you will join us.

We are hoping to have a Co-Creator confirmed by April 15, early submissions are encouraged.

Expressions of interest can be submitted via writing, video, or audio recording. Please introduce yourself, share your interest in the work or tell us a story about water. Submissions can be sent by email to Alison Wong, at awong@luminato.com.

Links for more information:


Acknowledgement of Land and Water:
In Western Australia the esteemed Noongar elder Dr Richard Whalley talked of ‘the community of water’. He spoke about water as ‘the epicentre of social cohesion’. Museum of Water recognizes there is no chance for any community of water while many communities do not have access to fresh water. Prioritising questions of access, refusing partition and pollution, centring its work in Indigenous rights to land and water, Museum of Water hopes to support an acknowledgement of water in Toronto.

Built on a belief in the power of witnessing, it is of utmost importance that a Museum of Water in Ontario does not repeat colonial power dynamics, including the violences of museumhood and mapmaking. Any consideration of water has to take into account the violent histories of water, the current inequalities, politics of ownership and enclosure, local and global power struggles. We are hoping to make partnerships over two years that can both support local grassroots movements and contribute to the development of new systems of care. We are keen to bring together a creative team to interrogate the nature of museumhood and the dangers of collecting in order to investigate new structures for collective action and mutual aid.