The Rapidian

The Stream brings attention to worldwide water shortages

Through his ArtPrize entry "The Stream," Emeka Ikebude hopes to bring attention to water shortages in developing countries.
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To find the fundraiser on GoFundMe, click here.

To learn more about the artist, click here.

To see the Facebook page, click here.

Emeka Ikebude with "The Stream"

Emeka Ikebude with "The Stream" /Avery Johnson

“The Stream” is a multimedia installation by Emeka Ikebude at the DeVos Place Convention Center. The piece was created in an attempt to bring attention to water scarcity around the world, especially developing countries and Ikebude’s home country of Nigeria.

The installation depicts two women, one with a baby, gathering water that flows out of a teary eye.

Based on the imageries of a teary eye, water, and women," Ikebude describes it in his artist's statement on the ArtPrize website, "The eyeball is designed with LEDs to create an illusional, yet immersive, experience of walking in an 'endless path' of memory. The mid-section is a water fountain formed (mentally) from the rivulets of tears. Its flow breaks boundaries, and becomes a metaphor for contrasting my native country, where basic infrastructures are non-existent in most places, with the one I live in, where abundance often leads to excessive consumption and wastage.”

“The water makes the whole thing functional,” says Ikebude. “But as it keeps flowing, you might think that there is a constant source of water, but it’s actually being recycled… the figures are fixed in their endless pursuit of everlasting dream.”

“The Stream” was made using rope, wood, dowels, light-emitting diodes, water and pigments mainly, but the women and baby were created with burlap and twine to show what Ikebude describes as the “delicacy” of the situation.

“The delicateness of the situation prompted me to do this with delicate materials,” says Ikebude. “I chose to do them entirely out of fabric...I built from strength to weakness…”

In addition to pointing out the problem that faces much of the world, Ikebude uses “The Stream” and the project associated with it as a call to action.

“In Africa, some of these women travel as far as 15-20 kilometers just to access drinking water,” he says. “The world’s supply of water is shrinking, and as it is shrinking, the problem is spreading… we have to do something about water. The least we can do is conserve and recycle.”

To get more involved, Ikebude has also started a fundraiser on GoFundMe to provide water to a community in need. Proceeds will go toward a community in Africa or Haiti that is in need of drinking water.

The installation can be found at the DeVos Place Convention Center, and it is for sale. To vote, visit the ArtPrize website or use code 62490.

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