With our workshop we seek to encourage creative interaction between artists, writers and performers interested in exploring the potential of a fluid perspective suggested by a 'waterscapes' approach to heritages.
Drawing on a range of disciplines, artistic and professional practices, the workshop will explore innovative approaches to heritage. Adopting a "waterscape" perspective offers a conceptual basis for viewing diverse, composite heritages in terms of flow rather than a fixed point, acknowledging change and emphasising the need to work with it, whereas "landscape" perspectives focus more on stability, seeing conservation as being about the product and keeping it "as it is". A "waterscape" perspective focuses on managing change in a sustainable manner. Rivers, for example, shape landscapes but these look different, and their boundaries vary, according to which perspective is applied: a catchment forms an eco-region with a specific hydrological cycle that recursively shapes it, and in turn influences other components of landscape, from vegetation to buildings and transport.
In highlighting the hydrological cycle of evaporation and rain, a "waterscape" perspective draws attention to the co-existence in the same place of not only past, presence and future, but also the endogenous and the exogenous: Much of the rain that falls in a catchment will come from elsewhere, and even the water rising from its springs may not be all "from here". Thus "Waterscape" serves as a metaphor helping an understanding of social and economic processes; it also can reflect the psychological, emotional self-perception of individuals and their position in society: Is an archipelago bits of land surrounded by water that cuts them off from one another and from the mainland, or water dotted with bits of land it connects?