Museum of Water is a collection of publicly donated water that tells stories of the people and places it comes from. It is an invitation to ponder our precious liquid and how we use it.

Water is our most basic need but also our most overlooked, throwaway substance. We claim kinship with every water metaphor, yet in our actions we defend against it, squeezing and pumping, chlorinating and piping, soothed by our certainty that it will pour from our taps at a twist of our fingers.

It is time to re-examine our connection with the water that surrounds us, to develop a new relationship: to consider what is precious about it and how we are using it now in order to explore how we might care for it in the future. We are all implicated in this.

Museum of Water has travelled to over 50 different sites worldwide, been visited by over 60,000 people, and currently holds over 1,000 bottles in the collection. In celebration of our access to fresh water, always running alongside the Museum is our Water Bar, a free pop-up outdoor bar serving fresh water from the nearest source.

Begun in 2013, in a time of relative plenty in Britain, Museum of Water travels across the world gathering collections of water for future generations to consider. The collection holds ghost water and bad dream water, water from the last ice age, a melted snowman as well as Norwegian spit, three types of urine and two different breaths. It holds water from Lourdes, Mecca and the Ganges, Mediterranean sea beside a refugee camp on Lesvos and water from an aboriginal grandmother remembering the stolen generation and the disappearing wetlands of Western Australia.

Explore our Collection online, listen to donors’ speaking about their water, keep an eye out for future events and bring your own water.

Choose what water is precious to you.
Help us build a collection of water for future generations to enjoy.
What water will you keep?


It has been fantastic to see Perth Festival thriving in these shocking times - thank you for the beautiful work & congratulations to everyone at #perthfest for making the festival happen in ...current times.
Across 2016-18 Museum of Water grew in Western Australia, made with the water and words of people who gathered water, gave their time, shared their thoughts and their precious water.
The incredible pleasure of sitting in a room together talking! The privilege of listening, the honour of sharing. Thank you.
The Sound Archive of the whole WA collection is now up on Soundcloud, link in bio. Please listen to the recordings of these extraordinary testimonies, along with some of the talks recorded at the time. Selections of recordings from all the collections will be posted on the Sound Archive page of the Museum website throughout the year.
By gathering with the water this live artwork hopes to pull focus onto the interdependence of existence, challenging histories & authorities by pulling attention to stories that enable different weavings.
This work was made with the inspiration and expertise of a huge group of brilliant, kind and knowledgeable people and over these last weeks of the festival we will try to share as many bottles and testimonies as possible.
Thank you to the greatest team
@sayrahmay @mei.swan.lim @jen_jamieson_angstagram @openkitchenproject @sandpiperproductions #irmawoods #rebeccaorchard #gabbyhowlett @amysharrocks @nelsroad too and the genius of #zoeatkinson @martylangthorne @rachaeldease @wendymartinoz @annareece & everyone at the marvellous @fremantleartscentre @perthfest @artsadm @mary_osborn @catjharrison

#kep #water
#derbalyerrigan #swanriver
#nyoongar #nyoongarBoodja
#whadjuk #beeliar #walyalup
#museumofwaterwa
#museumofwater
#perthfest #perthaustralia #wam #westernaustralia #fremantleartscentre
#stories #testimonies #waterlistening #attention #whatwillyoukeep

Seagrass Meadows!
Even the words are rich in sensual hybrid knowledges 💙
#Nurseries #PollinatedbyShrimp
⁦@ucl⁩ ⁦@KAUST_News⁩
#AlixGreen #CarlosDuarte
#Restoration ...⁦@ProjectSeagrass⁩ ⁦⁦@SeagrassEcology⁩ ⁦#90% #return https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/mar/04/catastrophic-uk-has-lost-90-of-seagrass-meadows-study-finds?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other

Bliz-aard Ball Sale, David Hammons, 1983, Cooper Square, New York. Photos by @dawoudbey

I’ve added a photo from 2015 & a snowball maker I saw earlier this week. I am an advocate for ...the embodied practice of re-making artworks as a chance to get closer to the processes of the original making & materials, repeating actions to learn new movements. If you have snow where you are this week, can you shape snowballs like #davidhammons ? Can you make as many as he does? Where will you lay them? What is your #blizaardballeconomy?

In a brilliant essay in @Frieze in 1995 https://www.frieze.com/article/wreaking-havoc-signified @cocofusco writes about #Hammons work through the lens of Louis Gates’ study 'The Signifyin' Monkey,’:
“Signifyin', according to Gates, involves taking, twisting and transforming English to make it otherwise. It implicitly revindicates 'imitation' as a creative gesture, over and against a legacy of negative, Eurocentric appraisal of black literature and culture as unoriginal. To signify is to rework received meanings; the difference between the literal and the metaphorical is thrust into the foreground by an approach that operates by implication, indirect communication, imagistic rendering, rhythmic delivery, and parody.” Hammons is “a masterful investigator of how an oppositional black cultural identity can be generated through a dialogue with 'high' culture, particularly as it is articulated through standard English”.

Do please also look in detail at the incredible work of #dawoudbey whose lens we see through for many #davidhammons works - @guardian “Blackness is not a straitjacket on the imagination” https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2020/feb/17/dawoud-bey-photographer-sf-moma “I would never know the narratives of the individuals before I made their portrait...The picture-making moment is when I would begin to find out something about the person. My greater responsibility was to give them a compelling representation & presence.”
@amysharrocks

#blizzaardballeconomy
#water
#language
#hyphens
#actsoftranslation
#ephemeralobjects
#blizaardballs
#blizaard
#snow
#allthatssolid
#narratives
#represent
#presence
#imagination

#398 - This is an ice core from 93 metres deep on the Dyer Plateau in Antarctica. The ice core is 3 years of snowfall from 1814-17 - Collected by me in 1989, Dr Robert and Libby Mulvaney
#400 - ...Luke’s Snowballs
#485 - The Flew Family Snowball. Made by Tom Flew in about 2001 in Godalming, Surrey. Inspired by a Clavin & Hobbes story – boy freezes snowball to throw at girls in summer!

The impossibility of snowballs! Joy bringers. Little snowy profiterolles, defying the weather and the year. A moment of childhood that you could use to slake your thirst.
And when someone turned off the freezer over night @somersethouse and they flopped, how stories of the snowballs travelled, until one day a few weeks later a woman came to #museumofwater @LIFT and said, “I hear you’ve lost your snowballs? I’ve brought you mine!” And unwrapped the Flew Family Snowball.

The 1814-17 Ice Core held in its crystals the memory and debris from the volcanic eruption of Mount Tambora in 1815. The most powerful volcanic eruption in recorded human history, the blast destabilised the climate in many parts of the world for the next decade, causing famine and frosts. 1816 was the ‘year without a summer’ in Europe, when holed up in a house with friends, Mary Shelley wrote Frankenstein.

What a fragile conversation was held so delicately all summer between the 1814-7 ice core from the British Antarctic Survey and Luke’s snowballs, later joined by Tom’s. Mary, Luke, Tom, Calvin, Hobbes, Susie, Frankenstein, some Dickens characters too... chatting in a freezer over a hot London summer. Polar ice caps re-fashioned, with a mortal twist.

The thing itself. Unrepeatable. Priceless. Individual and collective.

#MuseumofWater
#3years #antarctica
@britishantarcticsurvey @artsadm @kingsculturalcenter #robertmulvaney #libbymulvaney #flewfamily #lukesharrocks #calvinandhobbes #icecore #snowballs #DyerPlateau #93metres #water #somersethouse #2014

Bliz-aard Ball Sale, David Hammons, 1983, Cooper Square, New York. Photos by @dawoudbey

I’ve added a photo from 2015 & a snowball maker I saw earlier this week. I am an advocate for ...the embodied practice of re-making artworks as a chance to get closer to the processes of the original making & materials, repeating actions to learn new movements. If you have snow where you are this week, can you shape snowballs like #davidhammons ? Can you make as many as he does? Where will you lay them? What is your #blizaardballeconomy?

In a brilliant essay in @Frieze in 1995 https://www.frieze.com/article/wreaking-havoc-signified @cocofusco writes about #Hammons work through the lens of Louis Gates’ study 'The Signifyin' Monkey,’:
“Signifyin', according to Gates, involves taking, twisting and transforming English to make it otherwise. It implicitly revindicates 'imitation' as a creative gesture, over and against a legacy of negative, Eurocentric appraisal of black literature and culture as unoriginal. To signify is to rework received meanings; the difference between the literal and the metaphorical is thrust into the foreground by an approach that operates by implication, indirect communication, imagistic rendering, rhythmic delivery, and parody.” Hammons is “a masterful investigator of how an oppositional black cultural identity can be generated through a dialogue with 'high' culture, particularly as it is articulated through standard English”.

Do please also look in detail at the incredible work of #dawoudbey whose lens we see through for many #davidhammons works - @guardian “Blackness is not a straitjacket on the imagination” https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2020/feb/17/dawoud-bey-photographer-sf-moma “I would never know the narratives of the individuals before I made their portrait...The picture-making moment is when I would begin to find out something about the person. My greater responsibility was to give them a compelling representation & presence.”
@amysharrocks

#blizzaardballeconomy
#water
#language
#hyphens
#actsoftranslation
#ephemeralobjects
#blizaardballs
#blizaard
#snow
#allthatssolid
#narratives
#represent
#presence
#imagination

#400 - Luke’s Snowballs
#398 - This is an ice core from 93 metres deep on the Dyer Plateau in Antarctica. The ice core is 3 years of snowfall from 1814-17 - Collected by me in 1989, Dr Robert ...and Libby Mulvaney
#485 - The Flew Family Snowball. Made by Tom Flew in about 2001 in Godalming, Surrey. Inspired by a Clavin & Hobbes story – boy freezes snowball to throw at girls in summer!

The impossibility of snowballs!Joy bringers. Little snowy profiterolles, defying the weather and the year. A moment of childhood that you could use to slake your thirst.
And when someone turned off the freezer over night @somersethouse and they flopped, how stories of the snowballs travelled, until one day a few weeks later a woman came to #museumofwater @LIFT and said, “I hear you’ve lost your snowballs? I’ve brought you mine!” And unwrapped the Flew Family Snowball.

The 1814-17 Ice Core held in its crystals the memory and debris from the volcanic eruption of Mount Tambora in 1815. The most powerful volcanic eruption in recorded human history, the blast destabilised the climate in many parts of the world for the next decade, causing famine and frosts. 1816 was the ‘year without a summer’ in Europe, when holed up in a house with friends, Mary Shelley wrote Frankenstein.

What a fragile conversation was held so delicately all summer between the 1814-7 ice core from the British Antarctic Survey and Luke’s snowballs, later joined by Tom’s. Mary, Luke, Tom, Calvin, Hobbes, Susie, Frankenstein, some Dickens characters too... chatting in a freezer over a hot London summer. Polar ice caps re-fashioned, with a mortal twist.

The thing itself.  Unrepeatable. Priceless. Individual and collective.

#MuseumofWater
#3years #antarctica
@britishantarcticsurvey @artsadm @kingsculturalcenter #robertmulvaney #libbymulvaney #flewfamily #lukesharrocks #calvinandhobbes #icecore #snowballs #DyerPlateau #93metres #water #somersethouse #2014

#852. Walliabup Kep
Collected 25/02/2017
This water has sustained life for 1000’s of years in the Beeliar Wetlands and I hope it does for 1000’s more. Nyoongar Boodja
...#worldwetlandsday
#water
Visit #MuseumofWater soundcloud to hear more https://soundcloud.com/user-398689107/852-walliabup-kep

“When the English first came here, they just wanted to get rid of all the water for some reason, you know, everything was dam it all in, cover it up, build rubbish dumps next to it, contaminate it.... And it's just that thing they brought with them, like after rubbishing the Thames until that was filthy and then they come out to Australia and start doing the same thing, like just ruining all the beautiful fresh water we have, like the Swan River - ruined, the lakes - contaminated. Yeah, so there's 90% of Perth's water, lakes, swamps is gone. We've got 10% left. So I think it's very important to hang on to what we've got left for our grandchildren, for your grandchildren.
The birds and animals that are becoming extinct, and water - that's for everyone - it’ll be so good when people, when governments realize how precious it is.... It’s funny it should come in a headache bottle. I didn't think of it when I picked the bottle, I just picked the bottle for its looks”.
#852. Walliabup Kep
Collected 25/02/2017
This water has sustained life for 1000’s of years in the Beeliar Wetlands and I hope it does for 1000’s more. Nyoongar Boodja

#worldwetlandsday
#water

Please visit the Museum of Water soundcloud to hear more: https://soundcloud.com/user-398689107/852-walliabup-kep

“When the English first came here, they just wanted to get rid of all the water for some reason, you know, everything was dam it all in, cover it up, build rubbish dumps next to it, contaminate it.... And it's just that thing they brought with them, like after rubbishing the Thames until that was filthy and then they come out to Australia and start doing the same thing, like just ruining all the beautiful fresh water we have, like the Swan River - ruined, the lakes - contaminated. Yeah, so there's 90% of Perth's water, lakes, swamps is gone. We've got 10% left. So I think it's very important to hang on to what we've got left for our grandchildren, for your grandchildren. 
The birds and animals that are becoming extinct, and water - that's for everyone - it’ll be so good when people, when governments realize how precious it is.... It’s funny it should come in a headache bottle. I didn't think of it when I picked the bottle, I just picked the bottle for its looks”.
#852. Walliabup Kep
Collected 25/02/2017
This water has sustained life for 1000’s of years in the Beeliar Wetlands and I hope it does for 1000’s more. Nyoongar Boodja

#worldwetlandsday
#water

Please visit the Museum of Water soundcloud to hear more

We have had the opportunity to work with incredible photographers across the world, some over years. We are thankful for the brilliance of Ruth Corney, Ben Blossom, Lucy Carruthers, Pete Tweedie (UK), Salih Kilic (NL), Jess Wyld, Jacqueline Jane (WA), whose work features across this site. How to have a 3 minute shower by the brilliant Jen Jamieson and The Oceanic Sessions were part of Museum of Water WA.

Comments are closed.