Water Library consists of nine interconnected sections focusing on projects that artist Basia Irland has created over the last thirty years in Africa, Canada, Europe, South America, Southeast Asia, and the United States. Through her work, Irland offers a creative understanding of water while examining how communities of people, plants, and animals rely on this vital element. With a humanistic and artistic approach anchored in science, Water Library is a tribute to ecology expressed through art. Irland's art projects explore practical ways to conserve water through rain harvesting systems, how to foster dialogue and cooperation along the entire length of a river, and the dangerous impact of waterborne diseases on human health. By offering thought-provoking information, presented poetically, Water Library inspires in readers a broader appreciation of water's importance in their everyday lives.
"[Basia Irland] harbors a visceral affinity with rivers and with our water-dominated planet as a whole, with its similarities to our own bodies of water, from tears to lowly piss to the breaking of waters at birth. Process, work in time, is all-important. Irland also acknowledges the significance of migration, of the 'body in motion.' Some of her sculptures are portable, companions on the journey."--Lucy R. Lippard, art and cultural critic