Claire Pentecost + Martha Pentecost, Set in our current moment, in a coastal town in South Carolina, The Spirit of the Water Bear is a young adult novel that explores the devastating effects of a hurricane as experienced by the 15-year-old protagonist of the story, who is an activist and environmentalist urgently trying to get her community to consider important global issues, especially climate change. By anchoring the book in the present, the authors call attention to the irreversible damage that climate change has already caused and to the urgency for global awareness and action to slow its destruction. This is the first young adult fiction book the Pentecost sisters have written, and it is also their first formal collaboration. Five hundred copies of The Spirit of the Water Bear are displayed in the gallery as part of Refiguring the Future, and in the spirit of access and sharing, these copies are available for visitors to take home with them.
Claire Pentecost is an artist, writer, and educator. Her projects often address the contested line between the natural and the artificial, focusing on food, agriculture, bioengineering, and anthropogenic changes. Pentecost has shown work in numerous exhibitions and venues, including Documenta(13), Kassel; the 13th Istanbul Biennial; the DePaul Art Museum, Chicago; and the Third Land Art Mongolia Biennial. She is a founding member of Deeptime Chicago and of Watershed Art and Ecology. She is a professor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Martha Pentecost lives in Durham, North Carolina, where she writes and works with a number of organizations including Prisoner Visitation and Support, Haw River Assembly, Paperhand Puppet Intervention, Fullframe Documentary Film Festival, Durham Community Land Trust, and Trees Durham.