© 2019

Sustaining Childhood Natures

The Art of Becoming with Water


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxi
  2. Sarah Crinall
    Pages 1-36
  3. Sarah Crinall
    Pages 37-82
  4. Sarah Crinall
    Pages 83-120
  5. Sarah Crinall
    Pages 121-157
  6. Sarah Crinall
    Pages 159-197
  7. Sarah Crinall
    Pages 199-229
  8. Back Matter
    Pages 231-245

About this book


This book examines sustainability learning with children, art and water in the new material, posthuman turn. A query into how we might sustain (our) childhood natures, the spaces between bodies and places are examined ontologically in daily conversations. Regarding philosophy, art, water and her children, the author asks, how can I sustain waterways if I am not sustaining myself?
Theoretically disruptive and playful, the book introduces a new philosophy that combines existing philosophies of the new material and posthuman kind. The ecological sciences, and the arts, are drawn together / apart to help recognize sustainability in its emergent, relational form. All the while this book, as art, engages and flows over the reader – as such, reading it becomes a transformative, meditative experience. Daily rhythms of ‘being-with’ art, water and children take the reader beyond orientations of environmental education that focus on notions of lack and reduction. New possibilities for sustaining childhood natures – for what is becoming, and unbecoming – emerge here in the making processes of an academic, everyday life in early motherhood.


Children and Water Childhood and the Everyday Artful Everyday Life Posthumanism Anthropocene Emergence Sustainable Education Developments in Australia Place-based Learning Thinking with Water Arts-based Inquiry New Possibilities of Sustenance Becoming and Unbecoming The Making Process of Everyday Life Everyday Life with Water

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Western Sydney UniversityPenrithAustralia

About the authors

Sarah Crinall writes with the material of everyday life in a 1970’s Coldon beach home on shearwater swampland, between Western Port bay and Bass Strait’s Southern Ocean. Sarah has been mothering, writing, researching and creating on the Australian southern coast for eight years now. Living with her husband, Paul, and daughters, Edith and Vivi, new practices and daily rhythms have emerged with Sarah’s research, which swims in the queries that sustainability provokes.
Sarah writes in the spaces of early motherhood from the couch, at the dining table, and in bed with everyday momentary and bodily encounters. As she writes, the words change shape with the landscape surrounds and homely wares.
As a marine ecologist and educator, Sarah began using art to make room for people and water to be together in a more embodied way.  A young girl once asked: We know you love waterways, but why should we? From there Sarah found herself pursuing a doctorate on the relationship between artists and waterways.
Sarah completed her doctorate, Blogging Art and Sustenance: Artful everyday life (making) with water, in 2017. This dissertation received an AERA award (Division D Outstanding Dissertation Award). This thesis is the basis for this monograph – Sustaining childhood natures: The art of becoming with water.
In the past five years, Sarah has enjoyed making and sustaining everyday with other various lives on Phillip Island. With co-mothers, Sarah formed a playgroup (the Phillip Island Family playgroup); and helped with the inception of a new primary school, Phillip Island Village School, Ventnor as a co-founding board member. Now Edith, Vivi and Sarah are energised and nourished in weekly ‘Barn School’ forays. Here local families, children and parents can gather, explore and be together in shared experiences around Phillip Island in sync with the season. Sarah continues to write passionately on the matter(s) of motherhood and bodyplace lives.

Bibliographic information