Reflections from Common Waters, Common Threads

Last week, I joined a few other locals for a short trip back in time. Along one side of the Grand River to the other, we walked and listened as local artist Joe Lethbridge guided us on a tour in downtown Galt. It was good motivation to hop online afterwards and read, in more detail, about the people and places introduced during our stroll. 

Once again, the outing – part of the Common Waters project – reinforced the theme that water literally fuels and connects us.

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Vanessa PejovicComment
Reflections on "The Water Lover" and "Slow Change

Recently I attended a Common Waters event at the BRIDGE storefront which was comprised of two performance pieces , The Water Lover by Patrick Allaby and Slow Change by Tess Martens. While I have seen many performance art events before, nothing could prepare me not only to see and hear what I was about to, but to experience it wholly; mind, body and soul.

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Joe LethbridgeComment
Tying it All Together: Reflections from Jii Bmoseynah Nokomis Gii B'Mosed - I am Walking in the Footsteps of my Grandmother

Dr. Andrew Judge spoke last Saturday in a Common Waters talk titled “Jii Bmoseynah Nokomis Gii B'Mosed - I am Walking in the Footsteps of my Grandmother.” Afterwards, I went home feeling moved and overwhelmed. I told my husband that I didn’t know how I could distill those three hours into a meaningful blog post. My brain (and heart) needed time to digest.

And here I am.

Still digesting.

The theme of these Common Waters events revolves around water – its literal and figurative place in our lives. As I’m discovering, conversations about water are inevitably connected to conversations about many other things

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What Happens to the Water After it Rains? A Lecture

On Thursday July 4th, landscape architect Yvonne Batista and process design engineer Genevieve Kenny came to the University of Waterloo School of Architecture to give a lecture on these mysterious systems and processes, demystifying and revealing the often forgotten stormwater infrastructure that plays a critical role in ensuring our cities are not inundated at the slightest summer storm.

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Bridge Waterloo
Guest Entry: Reflections on Mud and Microbes

Germs = art?

Yes! 

Nicole Clouston is a researcher in the process of completing a Ph.D. in Visual Art. Art and science meet in Nicole’s work. Last Wednesday, she led a field trip and workshop - Mud and Microbes - as part of the Common Waters project, in which we collected samples of mud from the banks of the Grand River in downtown Galt. 

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Guest Entry: Reflections from Water Bound

Blacksmithing. Textile weaving. Writing a letter (by hand).

Lost arts? Most of us don’t own fountain pens or butter churns anymore. Does that mean they’re gone for good? Perhaps the digital age has, surprisingly, been a catalyst for the resurgence of true craft. Maybe because we no longer do it out of necessity, there’s something more satisfying and meaningful about creating by hand - the length and complexity and scaffolding of the process, the tactility and richness of the materials that come together with practiced skill to make something truly unique.

Last Saturday, I observed artist and teacher Judy Major-Girardin lead a book-binding workshop at the BRIDGE Centre for Architecture and Design as part of the summer-long Common Waters project.

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Irene Luque Martin: healthy urbanism through the use of water

On June 19, the University of Waterloo School of Architecture hosted Irene Luque Martin to do a lecture on her research, looking at water as the driving force in healthy urbanism. She is an urban designer at FABRICations, a research/design firm based in Amsterdam. She explains the process that her team takes to analyze and solve large scale problems.

The lecture begins with a breakdown on the firm and her design philosophy, explaining their six principles of healthy urbanism. Irene then led us through a three projects in Chennai, Khulna, and Semarang, where these six principles were used to come to a solution for their respective urban issues.

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Bridge Waterloo
Water Bound: Book Binding Workshop

Last Saturday, Judy Major-Girardin ran a book binding workshop in the BRIDGE Storefront space. Focused around our natural environment and our means of representing it, the hands-on workshop was also a chance to learn more about the Grand River and its history. With our books in hand, the workshop ended with a trip to the banks of the river where we wrote, sketched, and painted in our new books.

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Bridge WaterlooComment
Guest Entry: Reflections from the Opening of Common Waters

After you woke up this morning, did you make a coffee? Brush your teeth, have a shower, flush the toilet? I did. Here’s a selection of random thoughts I had while I did those things: we’re almost out of milk; are any of the Raptors actually Canadian?; oh, shoot, the MasterCard bill’s due tomorrow.

I admit that the following series of thoughts doesn’t regularly join the circus of my morning headspace: this water is clean; it’s precious; it connects us all; and it took no effort at all, aside from a flick of my wrist, to access it.

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Vanessa PejovicComment
OPENING RECEPTION

Last Friday, the BRIDGE Storefront held a reception for Common Waters’ exhibition opening, which featured a collection of artifacts, student work, as well as live music. This event was attended by members of the community, local students, and professors from the University of Waterloo’s School of Architecture.

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Bridge WaterlooComment