Women and Water: Woven Portraits From Around The World


ISBN 978-0-9998157-4-8
Author: Mary Burns
Softcover, 126 pages
Manitowish River Press, June 2023

About the Book

The Women and Water exhibit celebrates and honors water by portraying women who work with it, protect it and advocate for it. Featured are scientists, water-walkers, teachers, farmers, activists and healers, all who hold deep connections with water.

Seven years in the making, Mary Burns’ twenty-nine handwoven jacquard portraits of women from around the world form the core of the exhibit.

Water is the life blood of the planet and of all living beings. May we be deeply inspired by the work of these remarkable women to protect our waters.

Mary Burns began weaving over 50 years ago, and in 2008, leapt into learning the highly complex process of Jacquard weaving. Her first exhibit of portraitures, Ancestral Women: Wisconsin’s 12 Tribes, was completed in 2016 and still travels today. Her work has been displayed in numerous exhibits and shows, including several art and science collaborations.


Beautiful work! I could feel the spirit of these women.

– G.W., Wisconsin

This is so beautiful and wonderful; brought tears to my eyes!

– R.T., North Carolina

This exhibit moved me to tears. Thank you for voicing the plight of women who have kept our water safe! Incredibly beautiful works of art with incredible stories.

– E.C., Arkansas

Stunning work and such inspiring women!

– Kaitlynn, Texas

Absolutely stunning!

– D.W., Michigan

The art is so beautiful and the stories are so powerful . . . Full body chills!!!

– I.E., Utah

This exhibit gave me perspective that I’ve been searching for. Seeing the diversity of women who make immense impacts on the conservation of freshwater inspires me to continue on with my career as a scientist in aquatic studies.

- A.E., Utah

As a woman in the wetland science field, your work was incredibly moving . . . I’m filled with emotion and heartfelt gratitude.

– A.R., Louisiana

Thank you for the gift of this exhibit and highlighting the global diversity of women who fight for and honor our water.

– E. H., Virginia

This exhibit is revolutionary! I felt seen, heard, and inspired.

– A.J.

Splendid! I can hear and feel the portraits.

– V.Z., Florida

What a gift this is. Stories of courage, perseverance, deep spiritual taproots. Thank you!

– A.L., Wisconsin