Watershed & MAYK present: Art & Climate, Winter Residencies Showcase
Ella Good & Nicki Kent at the Mars Desert Research Station in Utah © Robert Keller, Satori Photos 2019

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

Live stream

Please note: This live stream took place in Dec 2020

Join us for a free Art & Climate Showcase event to hear about the work created by Watershed & MAYK’s Winter Artists in Residence. Featuring work-in-progress from Xavier Velastin, Robbie Thomson, Ella Good and Nicki Kent, this online event will share ideas related to technology and climate breakdown, with a focus on the local effects of the climate crisis, our demand for gas and oil, and a future life on Mars.

We were really sad not to be able to host the Showcase in our beloved building but don't worry, we've created a very special, very playful miniature version of Watershed you will be welcomed into online - a place you can meet, chat, and experience ideas from Studio residents developed in response to the climate emergency.

The showcase will be introduced by 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’. 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 then 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 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 programme. 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, a group of people interested in creating further homemade experiments as part of our Building A Martian House project, and share our exciting future plans.” - Ella Good & Nicki Kent.

Ella and Nicki will share some of 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.

Please join us to hear from each artist as they share the thinking behind their work and where they hope to take it next.

This event will be BSL interpreted.