Awhile back, I stumbled upon the art of Basia Irland, an environmental artist whose work focuses on the understanding of water as a vital resource for plants and animals. Her work is phenomenal. I was particularly intrigued by her installation piece, titled “Ice Books: receding/reseeding.”
For this piece, which addresses solutions to the erosion and pollution of watersheds, large frozen books, carved from river water with “text” or native seeds frozen inside , were placed into the Nisqually River. The seeds were then slowly released as the ice melted in the currant. This installation, or performance piece of sorts, emphasized “the necessity of communal effort and scientific knowledge to deal with the complex issues of climate disruption and watershed restoration,” as Irland worked with students, restoration specialists, forest rangers, biologists, ecologists, and other members of the surrounding community to prepare and release these books.
Temporal works, such as Basia Irland’s “Ice Books” have the potential to inspire some very interesting student lessons, as students could initiate their own restoration works to restore natural areas of their school campuses using their environmental artworks.
Food for thought.