Archive of Author | Basia Irland

Fulbright Scholar, Basia Irland, is an author, poet, sculptor, installation artist, and activist who creates international water projects, featured in two books, “Water Library” (University of New Mexico Press, 2007) and “Reading the River: The Ecological Activist Art of Basia Irland” (Museum De Domijnen, 2017). Irland is Professor Emerita, University of New Mexico, where she founded the Art and Ecology Program. She writes a blog for National Geographic about global rivers written in the first person from the perspective of the water. She works with scholars from diverse disciplines building rainwater harvesting systems; connecting communities and fostering dialogue along the entire length of rivers; filming water documentaries; sculpting hand-carved ice books embedded with native riparian seeds for river restoration projects; and creating waterborne disease projects around the world. Irland lectures and exhibits extensively. In 2016, she had a major retrospective exhibition at the Museum De Domijnen, The Netherlands.

Articles with Basia Irland

Reading the River

“The idea of interconnectedness has been one of the central themes of my water work for over forty years. Water issues are vast and present intricately complex problems. I think that the solutions and suggestions for actions lie in a diversity of approaches. It will take all of us working together cooperatively to come to the assistance of bodies of water around the globe. In this radically interconnected world it behooves each of us to compassionately take care of each other and our environment, because we are one and the same.”

In her pioneering inter-disciplinary practice, Basia Irland focusses on rivers and watersheds, water scarcity, climate change, ecological restoration and waterborne diseases. Her poetic, socially-engaged work endeavours to reconnect people with their local waterways in order to foster care, appreciation and responsibility.