In Blood and Bone
I come from a long-line of water-witches. Dowsing aka water-witching is a form of divination used to locate water, sites, oil, and information. In 2013, I learned that my mother’s family had been renowned for their water-witching abilities. Using a willow branch or two copper rods, they would locate ground water without the use of scientific technology. In Blood and Bone is an ongoing performance-based series and traveling exhibition of work from the Orphan Well Adoption Agency. See more here.
The Orphan Well Adoption Agency (OWAA) is a fictional non-profit organization that is dedicated to finding caretakers for orphan wells in Alberta. Through symbolic adoptions or orphan wells, members of the public are asked to consider their role in remediation of well sites. These sites threaten to contaminate land, water, and life, with remediation efforts lasting up to a decade. The OWAA imagines dowsing as an integral part of remediation, one that might shift our relationship to natural resources. Can dowsing lead to new ways of understanding ‘environmental health’? One that values the wellbeing of all bodies, forms of life, matter, and the earth? I