Photo by Nazaré Soares
The project seeks to rekindle the cultural significance of communal bathing while exploring cellular memory, liquid intelligence and promoting relational practices in contemporary art. We will develop a series of immersive experiences that blur the boundaries between art, wellness, and hydrocommons. The work is underlying artistic tools for reparation while diving into topics of intergenerational trauma within practices of hydrofeminism.
Water Forget-Me-Not, known as Pelkinė neužmirštuolė in Lithuanian, is an evergreen, rhizomatous, herbaceous flowering plant. The plant grows in wet places by streams, pond margins, wet meadows, swamps, fens, and rivers, as well as along springs and slow-moving streams. The flowers range in color from bright to pale blue, tubular with 5 spreading, round to yellow egg-shaped lobes, resembling the colors of the Ukrainian flag. There are many legends connected to the Water Forget-Me-Not. In the language of flowers, this plant has strong symbolism associated with love transcending life, loyalty, and remembrance.
The plant has been used in traditional medicine and is highly beneficial. Drinking this tea can reduce high blood pressure, soothe the nerves, and promote restful sleep. The consumption of Water Forget-Me-Not can help relieve stress and calm the nerves. It is also culturally used to honor the victims of wars and genocides worldwide.
`Water Holds the Shell of the Skin, a Cluster of Cells’
Water Holds the Shell of the Skin, a Cluster of Cells’ is my current research, inspired by training in somatic bodywork in water. I facilitate individual aquatic body-mind sessions in warm water in Vilnius throughout May and June 2023. The liquid incubations involve body-mind alignment through movement and listening, re-patterning touch in water. This practice is rooted in authentic liquid movements and awareness.
The research has received support from SODAS 2123 in Vilnius, as part of an art residency (April-June 2023) aimed at developing work for the Ūmėdė Festival 2024. This residency was funded by the Nordic-Baltic Mobility Program for Culture.
We accessed cellular fluid awareness to tap into water codes and cellular memory. We triggered a whole-body response through cellular resonance, circulation of fluids, flow through the fascial matrix, and electromagnetic communication via the foundational glial cell network. This work addresses the urgent need to develop social and community practices for body-touch awareness and watery embodiment.
Our pool, or what I refer to as our Water Temple, is located in the Vilnius Karoliniškės district near the Neris riverbank. A beautiful walk by Neries paplūdimys leads to what was our home for two months. This area is also close to the main site of the January Events of 1991.
After the intense days in the water, I felt my brain soften, my body purging, and a physical tiredness settling in. Surprisingly, the sessions became very popular, with an average of 3 sessions per day. These pictures and notes were captured after the liquid incubations. I am grateful that almost everyone agreed to be part of the documentation process despite being immersed in a vulnerable fascia state. I was very careful not to document during the intense phases of the process.
Recognizing that this work in the Lithuanian context might revolve around somatic reparations and healing linked to the former Soviet occupation and the ongoing Ukrainian war.
I hold deep gratitude for everyone who placed their trust in the water work and participated in the liquid incubations, supporting this initial phase of research in Vilnius. My intention is to further develop this work through workshops and participatory performances involving the Vilnius community and/or the districts of Vilnius Karoliniškės, Kaunas, and Panevėžys in Lithuania.
” Our inner fluids, structures, tissues, and organs provide the essential components of the patterns from which we weave our personal stories. These stories are then recorded by and stored in the templates of our autonomic and somatic nervous systems. As we embody our cellular patterns of expectations and responses, we gain understanding of their relevance and importance in past experiences. We also gain awareness of and insight into releasing those aspects that are no longer necessary for our realization of self in this moment. We become freer to make different choices. As we release our stress-induced behaviors, we discover deeper compassion, wisdom, and ease.” Body-Mind Centering.(BMC)