Leila Philip

Water Rising

An Art Collaboration


Video Installation


Water Rising is a unique collaboration between Leila Philip and sculptor, Garth Evans. It combines Evan's watercolors and Philip's poems, bound together in a critically acclaimed art book, and has evolved and grown as a project to include musicspoken wordvideo installation, and many events across the country and around the world. 

The project has an environmental mission, and 100% of net proceeds are being donated to generate support for environmental stewardship through groups like 1000 Friends of Oregon, CT Audubon, and Scenic Hudson. 

"Evans and Philip teach us how to see a place anew, as if ‘a secret were breaking open.’ Once we know that secret nothing will ever be the same again."

-Christopher Merrill, The Trees of the Doves

Water Rising

Leila Philip and Garth Evans

New Rivers Press, Minnesota State University Moorhead, 2016
ISBN: 978-0-89823-336-0

"Water Rising is a marvelous collaboration between an artist and a writer, in which lines and colors and words blend and merge to celebrate a small corner of the world. Garth Evans and Leila Philip teach us how to see a place anew,  'as if a secret were breaking open.' And now that we know the secret, which is that every place demands love and attention, nothing will ever be the same again.”

-Christopher Merrill, The Trees of the Doves

"In this exquisite collection, Water Rising, the sublime watercolors of Garth Evans and the lyrical meditations of Leila Philip reflect those tides that rise and course within our lives and through the natural world, in both cases tracing the indelible watermarks that have been left behind. Whether grounded in our intimate daily experience or our artistic hopes and desires, the paintings and poems of Water Rising celebrate our insistence that, in the face of much darkness, we will continue to live along the shores of light and great beauty."

-David St. John, Study for the World's Body


Matthias Waschek, Director of Worcester Art Museum, discusses Water Rising


Environment, Memory & Things

Leila Philip, Garth Evans, and Siobhan Landry 

This video installation is a collaboration between artist Garth Evans, writer Leila Philip, and video artist Siobhan Landry. It is based on the book, Water Rising, (New Rivers, Press, University of Minnesota Moorehead, 2015) by Garth Evans and Leila Philip.
The video interweaves poems from the book read by the Leila Philip, conversation with the authors of Water Rising and music by the composer, Shirish Korde. In addition the video includes images of watercolors from the book, photographs taken by the authors of their local landscape and images of each stage of three new watercolors as they evolve.
Support for this project came from the CT Office of the Arts funded by the National Endowment for the Arts and administered by Windham Arts.

Book a Showing

This installation is available for programming. It is comprised of one 5’ by 8’ screen, which is viewed on both sides. One projector and 5 speakers create surround sound. Where possible, the screen is suspended from the ceiling and the projector is mounted on a wall shelf.  The speakers are located on pedestals.


Leila Philip, Shirish Korde, Jan Müller-Szeraws

Renowned composer, Shirish Korde, known for his expressive work integrating and synthesizing music of diverse cultures, contacted Leila Philip after reading the title poem, Water Rising. Shirish Korde worked with Evans and Philip to compose music in response to the watercolors and to set some of the poems to music. The result was a series of beautiful pieces for cello, used in multi-media performances that combined projections of the watercolors, spoken word recitations, by Leila Philip, of the poems, and performances of the cello pieces by Jan Müller-Szeraws. Recordings of these piece, by Jan Müller-Szeraws, have also become an integral part of the video installation. A recording of one of these pieces, Lalit, can be heard on our website.