Water Lives…


“Water Lives…” is an art-science animation designed to draw attention to the important (yet largely invisible) life that underpins and sustains our freshwater ecosystems through an experiment in interdisciplinary collaboration.

Produced by Rob St.John and Paul Jepson at the Oxford University School of Geography and the Environment for BioFresh – a European Union project on freshwater biodiversity – the animation brings artists and scientists together to collaborate on the concept that freshwater is more than an inert resource: instead a living, dynamic system inhabited by beautiful, important organisms largely unseen by the naked eye.

“Water Lives…” invites viewers to view our rivers and lakes in new ways, value the services they provide and discuss how they should be managed.  The curious and otherworldly physical form of freshwater organisms such as diatoms provides abundant artistic inspiration.

“Water Lives…” is a six minute piece animated by Scottish artist Adam Proctor. It is sound-tracked by a specially composed piece of music by Tommy Perman which samples a series of haiku about freshwater ecosystems written by environmental poet John Barlow.

The content of both the animation and haiku was influenced by close consultation with BioFresh freshwater scientists Rick Battarbee from University College London and Ana Filipa Filipe from the University of Barcelona, alongside Alistair Seddon from the University of Oxford Zoology department.

More information and artist statements.