Ella Good and Nicki Kent, Building a Martian House. Credit: Robert Keller, Satori Photos

Ella Good and Nicki Kent, Building a Martian House. Credit: Robert Keller, Satori Photos

Watershed & MAYK present: Art & Climate, Winter Residencies Showcase

Posted on Thu 5 March 2020

Join us for a free Art & Climate Showcase event to experience the new work created by Watershed & MAYK’s Winter Artists in Residence - Xavier Velastin, Robbie Thomson, Ella Good and Nicki Kent.

We are super excited to announce that this year's Winter Residency Art & Climate Showcase will take place on Tue 24 March.

Featuring new work created by Watershed & MAYK’s Winter Artists in Residence - Xavier Velastin, Robbie Thomson, Ella Good and Nicki Kent, this year's programme has been developed to explore technology and climate breakdown, with a focus on the local effects of the climate crisis, and our demand for gas and oil, and sustainable energy.

As well as experiencing their highly anticipated work, we’ll also be exploring the wealth of ideas being developed in response to the climate emergency by Watershed’s Pervasive Media Studio residents and associates and hear from multi-award winning author and journalist Matthew Todd, contributor to Extinction Rebellion’s handbook ‘This Is Not a Drill’ and the author of the award winning ‘Straight Jacket’. To open the event, Matthew will look at the reality of the forthcoming ecological collapse and what history suggests will happen for issues such as inclusion and diversity.

This will be followed by presentations from our Winter Residency artists:


Xavier Velastin is a performing sound artist, poet and composer. He will present [whalesong], a human-computer duet that takes its structure from the song of male humpback whales. The idea comes from his interest in seismic surveying, the process whereby loud soundwaves are used to prospect for oil and gas – something that is hugely damaging to marine life.

During this residency, Xavier has experimented with sensor technologies to enhance the performance of [whalesong] and delved into global ecological myths. Discover what he learned from these old forms of knowledge and just how he is using them.

Other Animals

Sound and visual artist Robbie Thomson is concerned that the places where the impact of climate change and environmental destruction is most visible – like the Amazon fires or coral reef bleaching – feel very distant from our everyday lives.

Robbie has been working hard to develop a series of part organic, robotic sculptures that draw our attention to the ‘invisible’ changes happening under our noses. Join us for an exclusive sneak peak into his work.

Building a Martian House

Since 2016 Ella Good and Nicki Kent have been working towards Building a Martian House, a real life house that you can step into and imagine how we might live on another planet, in a very different climate.

We have really enjoyed being part of the Watershed/MAYK winter residency. We have spent the time thinking about creating visions of the future that challenge ideas of automation: researching human power plants, gravity batteries and the role of maintenance, repair and self reliance in our future. Our own experiments have been much more low tech, attempting to adapt a shower into a low energy, low water, mist shower, similar to NASA's 1970's experiments but only using a few items from a garden centre. In the showcase we'll also discuss our 'Martian Makers' club, where we're bringing together a group of people to help us with creating further homemade experiments as part of our Building A Martian House project. - Ella Good & Nicki Kent.

Find out about the ideas they have tested and how thinking about a life on Mars provides a stark lens for how we live here and now on Earth.

Each artist will share the thinking behind their work and where they hope to take it next.

More Art & Climate

Following the presentations everyone's invited to meet and experience work-in-progress developed by our Residency artists and Pervasive Media Studio residents and associates in the Pervasive Media Studio.

This will include work from Alison Neighbour, Dan Pollard, David Lisser, Tim Kindberg, Uninvited Guests, Caroline Williams, Jasmine Creusson, Anne-Marie Culhane.

Don't miss our on your chance to experience the Art & Climate Showcase!

Reserve your tickets now!

Watershed Talent Development

Our annual Residency programmes support artists to experiment, make and think. We work with creative practitioners from varied disciplines, career stages and backgrounds, who have ideas for projects that blend art and technology.