Sound archive

Custodians are integral to the experience of Museum of Water.

We welcome you, we explore the bottles with you, we notice and listen.

Even if you haven’t brought water to the Museum your comments can get woven into a bottle’s history. We remember your words, the phrases you use, and you can take us all somewhere new.

No visit to the Museum is ever alike.

The subtle care of the custodians have played a large role in the thoughtful, moving and extended conversations that the Museum has been witness to over the years. We have not had the capacity to edit or transcribe all the 800 sound recordings we have gathered yet. The accessioning process has always been open-ended: it takes as long as it needs to talk a bottle through, to explore together what is in it. The offer of the Museum has been one of time and care.

This is a live artwork, but – when people have allowed us to – we have recorded their voice, talking about their bottles and their water. In the editing, we have as much as possible taken the custodians’ voices out, but of course they are still very much present in the conversations and to all who took part. Time and again, visitors have commented on the warmth of their experience with a custodian, the delicacy of their interventions. We present some here, to begin to open up some access to the extraordinary conversations we have been having over the years.

This Museum gives primacy to each person’s voice.

Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to gather and bring, to talk and to listen.

Huge thanks go to all the brilliant, kind and talented custodians we have had the pleasure of working with over the years. We have laughed and cried, carried and cleaned, laid out, sorted, noted and taken care of the bottles, the words and each other.

Below are some of the recorded stories about the Museum of Water collection. 

223. Najmal Hasan

282. Annette Fry

155. Briony, Jordan, Chloe

208. Deborah Sutherland

7. Eadie Solanki-Jackson

18. Edie Ray Sunman

290. Glenda and Carl

253. Greg Levitt

220. Janet Porter

228. Samara Scott

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