October of 1977, RiverOcean* commissioned performance artists Red
Earth (an ensemble led by life-partners Simon Pascoe and Caitlin
Easterby) to create one of their signature ritual events for Watermark1,
an annual festival celebrating southern Englands River Ouse.
Red Earths brief was to focus attention on the Winterbourne,
a small tributary leading off the Ouse, which, choked by the effects
of pollution, aggressive water abstraction and the effects of climate
change, had not run in 2 1/2 years.
so "Winterbourne" was conceived as a sort of petition
to the Water Spirits, asking for their help in the revitalization
of this stream. Joined by Balinese dancer Parmin Ras, Mexican vocalist
Geo Leroretta, and percussionists Kate Pollack and Johnny Easterby,
Red Earth created an awesomely beautiful event, invoking healing
for this dying stream and an awakened awareness in all who participated.
afterwards the waterway was successfully dredged, and today it is
a happily thriving little stream.
the series of images, click on this one)
can learn more about Red Earth and their projects at www.redearth.co.uk,
or contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org
RiverOcean is a non-profit organization, focusing on all areas of
integrated catchment management and raising awareness
of rivers, seas, and wetlands Combining art and science in their
environmental education and public awareness programs, they strive
to make the environmental field inclusive and available to all people.
They offer a variety of programsfor public and private elementary
schools, organizations of people with physical or learning difficulties,
adult education centers (including a class on Art & the Environment
taught by Red Earths Caitlin Easterby and Simon Pascoe), and
the general public. Operating locally from their base in E. Sussex,
UK, RiverOcean makes global alliances with other groups and individuals
on European projects and the annual inter-tidal festival LowTide.
At least two ICE members have participated in this wonderful international
event, and more are planning to. For more information on RiverOceans
programs, including how you can be involved in LowTide, see their
web site at www.rore.org.uk