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The Keepers of the Waters

Move the human story forward! ™ ideaXme

Release Date: 01/02/2021

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Xie Rong, Artist and ideaXme Eco Art Ambassador interviews Betsy Damon Artist, Environmental Activist and Founder, Keepers of the Waters.

A journey with water

The supreme goodness is like water.

It benefits all things without contention.

In dwelling, it stays grounded.

In being, it flows to depths.

In expression, it is honest.

In confrontation, it stays gentle.

In governance, it does not control.

In action, it aligns to timing.

It is content with its nature and therefore cannot be faulted.

- Chinese philosopher Lao Zi, 6th-century BC, Tao Te Ching.

Xie Rong comments:

Further to my preparatory research and later interview with Betsy Damon, I have concluded that she is water!

Betsy Damon was my childhood hero. Her design The Living Water Garden is a mini wetland heaven in the middle of my hometown ChengDu. It is a free public park that demonstrates how water cleans itself. From 1995 to1996, Betsy directed two public art events in ChengDu and Tibet that fundamentally changed the government’s as well as general public’s understanding about performance art. Furthermore, it was a groundbreaking moment that introduced rising stars in Chinese contemporary art.

Despite worldwide acclaim, Betsy has remained modest about her art. After decades of work as an artist, she continues to exhibit her work. As the first generation of Eco feminist artists, Betsy chooses to give her life, time and efforts to real water and to build art to inspire the community.

From her gritty 1977 performance in Wall Street, to her large collection of drawings, etchings and video art we see honesty and purity. We witness time and motion! This is art the people of the world should celebrate! Here is a story of a woman who discovered the importance of water. Her journey with water inspires the audience to reflect on our relationship with nature. It draws us from the material world and ego to the art community and selfless activism. It helps us to realise the power of community and the collective mind! This journey is even more important in today’s COVID isolated world. Betsy turned 80 on the 31st of Dec 2020. So, let’s all wish her a very healthy and happy belated birthday! I truly hope you enjoy this interview. It’s hard to convey a lifetime of work in a 52 minute conversation but I hope that this serves as an introduction to Betsy’s life and an invitation to join the Keepers of the Waters! Betsy Damon bio: Betsy Damon is an internationally recognised artist whose public work and living systems, such as the Living Water Garden, have received widespread acclaim.

She directs Keepers of the Waters, a nonprofit focused on ecological planning, advocacy and education. Damon was a semi-finalist for the Buckminster Fuller Award and a finalist for the Stockholm Water Prize. Damon has lectured widely in the U.S, Europe and China. She’s been a visiting artist at countless colleges and universities.

Links: https://www.keepersofthewaters.org Xie Rong's website: https://www.echomorgan.com

Xie Rong Instagram: @echomorgan https://www.instagram.com/echomorgan/?hl=en

Xie Rong Twitter: @xierongart https://twitter.com/xierongart

ideaXme Twitter: @ideaxm https://twitter.com/ideaxm?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor

Find the transcript of this interview at www.radioideaxme.com shortly.

ideaXme is a global podcast, creator series and mentor programme. You can find us across the internet – on all major audio platforms, on Vimeo and here www.radioideaxme.com. ideaXme encourages everyone to learn about and participate in knowledge that impacts our collective futures.