“What is a Lake?” Took place on May 17th on the UCD Lake. This celebration of the UCD lake was the finale of the research I had been working on throughout my year during my UCD Art in Science Residency in Parity Studios.

Photos from the event can be found on this Flickr link:

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What is a Lake? Offered the UCD community a chance to escape land temporarily and view their familiar campus from a new perspective. The boat tours created a chance to consider what a lake is and the value and role bodies of water play in our terrestrial world.

During the day there were boat tours of the UCD Lake with an accompanying sound piece, this is on the Soundcloud link below.

The Dublin Model Boat Club also sailed their boats on the lake during the day.

Anika Babel from UCD School of Music wrote “I am a Lake” for the UCD Lake as part of this Project. “I am a Lake” was performed in the School of Science that evening by the specially assembled ‘Lake Orchestra” (and secret singers). This soundcloud track is a recording of the 1st live performance of “I am a Lake”. We are currently in conversation on the potential to record this work with the UCD Orchestra and a choir in the future.

During the evening my new book “What is a Lake?” was launched and Prof Joe Carthy the Dean of UCD School of Science introduced Dr Jennifer Mitchell a Microbiologist at UCD and Dr Caroline Wynne, Senior Freshwater Consultant, RPS Group Ltd, who both gave presentations on what a Lake means to them in their jobs as scientists and researchers.

A link to a PDF of my book: What is a Lake? 

This includes a text written especially for the book by Karl Whitney, author of “Hidden City”.

Thanks to everyone who helped with this project:

The UCD Community who I interviewed throughout the year and pestered for Lake stories.

The boat tour team – The Raystown Boat Club and James Hamilton who provided the boat for the event, Rachel Ní Dubhghaill, Ulla Juske, Clíona Ní Bhriain, Deborah Madden.

Brian Creegan for taking photos.

Tom Shields who organised the group from the Dublin Model Boat Club to take part.

And to Emer O’Boyle who runs the Parity Studios at UCD that creates these amazing residency opportunities for artists.

Emer also made this video of the event:



The 1st Solo crossing of UCD Lake:


Water temp: 4º 

Distance 75m

This pioneering solo swim was the starting point of my exploration behind the history, architecture, source and science of the UCD Lake in Belfield, a rather unconsidered, ignored body of water which serves as a serene backdrop to sunny day lunchtimers and is home to several swans as well as many macroscopic and micro organisms.

The 1st Solo Crossing was swam just before I started the Parity Studios Art in Science Residency, as it would have been impossible for me to walk past this body of water everyday if I had not submerged and bonded with it.