Living Rivers, a conversation with Matterlurgy and Prof Veronica Strang

underwater film still of plantlife, film still, Matterlurgy, 2021

Join us online on Thursday 27 May for a conversation between artist duo Matterlurgy (Helena Hunter and Mark Peter Wright) and Professor Veronica Strang.

Taking as a starting point the artists’ inquiry into ways of engaging with what lives in water and the role of such organisms in constituting a common planet, the event will explore how human and non-human relations can be collectively re-imagined within river catchments.
The event forms part of Matterlurgy’s residency as part of Test Sites: Calder, Arts Catalyst’s ongoing inquiry into water governance and its relationship with health, wellbeing and the resilience of communities and environments. 
This event is free, but booking is essential. Details of how to join the event will be emailed to attendees ahead of the starting time.
Professor Veronica Strang is a cultural anthropologist and Director of Durham University’s Institute of Advanced Study. Her research focuses on human-environmental relations and, in particular, people’s engagements with water. She has conducted ethnographic research in Australia, the UK and New Zealand. In 2000 she received a Royal Anthropological Institute Urgent Anthropology Fellowship, and in 2007 she was awarded an international water prize by UNESCO. Key publications include Uncommon Ground: cultural landscapes and environmental values (1997); The Meaning of Water (2004); Gardening the World: agency, identity and the ownership of water (2009); Ownership and Appropriation (2010); Water: nature and culture (2015); and From the Lighthouse: interdisciplinary reflections on light (2018). She is currently completing a major comparative text about culturally and historically diverse water deities, such as Rainbow Serpents in Australia, and feathered serpents in Central America, focusing on how they reveal diverse societal trajectories in human-environmental relationships. For more information visit
Matterlurgy is a collaborative practice between London based artists Helena Hunter and Mark Peter Wright. They work in critical contexts of environmental change, across disciplines and media, combining the production of artworks with co-constructed events and live performance. They have produced projects about air pollution, river ecosystems, waste, flooding and climate modelling. Artworks have been made with sites including a hydropower station, disused steelworks, a laboratory for ice simulation, an abandoned copper mine, and galleries and museum collections.
They have collaborated with scientists at The University of Cambridge, University College London, University of Sheffield, King’s College London, and Royal Holloway University of London. Their work has been commissioned and exhibited across international venues and partners including: Delfina Foundation, Tate Modern, Raven Row Gallery, Gazelli Art House, BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, ICA, The Showroom Gallery, Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art (MIMA), UK Green Film Festival (UK), Bòlit Contemporary Arts Centre (Spain), Mains d’Œuvres (France), ONOMA (Finland), Dalane Kulturfestival (Norway), HIAP Frontiers of Retreat (Helsinki). For more information visit