Walk On Water

In November 2019, The Town of Gibsons hired The Art Farm to develop a set of signs that would form a “tour” through lower Gibsons celebrating our local aquifer system which has provided some of the world’s cleanest drinking water to the residents of this area for thousands of years. Collaborating with families, Indigenous knowledge carriers and local artists, The Art Farm created seven signs at various locations relating to the Gibsons Aquifer. The signs draw audiences to engage through a game and additional information available online while exploring Lower Gibsons.

Dates

  • Spring of 2020

Components

  • Dialogue with Squamish Council member Richard Baker
  • Walking Tour with local families
  • Creative Workshops
  • Interactive element & signage design

Partners

  • Town of Gibsons

Community Input

An important component of the project was to garner community feedback about the tour and use this to drive the design. The Art Farm coordinated a walk through each of the stations with a large group of youth, adults, and artists. First, they gathered at the Gibsons Museum and met with Squamish Nation member Richard Baker and his partner, Dixie, who were very generous with their time, energy and traditional stories of the area. Richard set the tone, encouraging the group to be stewards of the water, to honour the land and the animals, and to keep their hearts and minds wide open. It poured with heavy rain throughout the tour. (Walk on Water. Walk in Water). As the group arrived at each station, they stopped to read the information provided in the handouts provided by the Town of Gibsons, observed their surroundings, and talked about what information most resonated with themAdults asked questionsthe kids asked questions. They contemplated the facts provided and thought a lot about the first peoples who relied on the abundant water source created though thousands of years of glaciation.

Workshops

The students who walked with us on our original tour met at the The Art Farm to dive deeper into the material. We learned more about the Gibsons Aquifer through creative activities including building a mini functioning model of an aquifer!

 

Designing an interactive tour

Our artist team came together to conceptualize what Walk On Water would include. It was important to honour the animals and plants that rely on this fresh water source, and especially important to acknowledge the indigenous people who have relied on the Gibsons aquifer for thousands of years.  We wanted to draw people to the artful signage, engage them in a game that would help them see the aquifer through an animal’s experience, encourage them to walk to each sign location, and learn more online about the history and the aquifer.

 www.gibsons.ca/walk-on-water

 

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