Posts Tagged ‘watershed’

It snowed today, it’s cold, and the river is rising.  I’m imagining that my studio site is in danger of getting swamped.  In all the years I have done this project,  I have only once been present at the moment the river carried my work away.  It was wierd watching the water inch slowly but surly towards my feet.  I had a couple of Styrofoam figures that the river just gently lifted away.  It looks like I won’t be making it to the river this weekend and so I put together a few recent and related images to present to you.  It’s all just river stuff I came across at the Falls of the Ohio.  I especially like the image of the log set on its end.

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High water, 5/09

The river has pretty much crested and now it’s a matter of waiting for the water to recede.  Of course, all bets are off if we receive any more sustained downpours.  I know this is only anecdotal, but it seems everything is a weather event these days.  What ever happened to the gentle, soaking rains free of high winds and hail?  high water, 5/09


The river may be muddy, but I do love the clarity of the air after a big storm moves through the valley.  It’s air as it should be, which is more than we can say about the water.  All manner of artificial debris is floating around with the bark rolled off the logs.  I bet I’ve seen ten plastic barrels go by the last three days.  Lots of people have been curious about the river and for the most part the fishing has been good too.  I’m getting that feeling that the spring migration is coming to a close and I can concentrate on making art again.

Styrofoam cache, 5/09

The above image is the largest of three caches of polystyrene foam I have hidden in the woods prior to this flood.  It doesn’t matter now because I’m sure that most of this is gone.  This site was swamped by water and I might come across some of this stuff later.  I was hoping to make a few more larger figures, but I will have to wait.  I will wager that since I started this project I have lost over a dozen such collections to the river.  As much of this stuff as I have removed from the park…there will always be more after the next inundation.wildflower reflections, 5/09


For now, I will explore what else the park has to offer and see if a few stray migratory birds have lingered in the interior.  I’m still hoping to see that pelican again.  The water will recede and the land will dry out.  The landscape will be rearranged and the drama of change is part of the fun…that and checking out the latest oddities to be washed up in the park.  As for the Styrofoam, what was lost is too easily replaced.floating Styrofoam, 5/09

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Thirsty for Green, 2009

Using two very eroded pieces of Styrofoam, driftwood, hickory and walnuts, and plastic I created this figure in a cache of plastic green bottles.  Just another example of conspicuous consumption found in the context of nature. 

Thirsty for Green, side view

Here’s a side view.  The sad part is this wasn’t all the plastic bottles (much less the green ones) found in the immediate area of this figure.  Yes, there are river clean-ups several times a year, but with normal high water “fresh” material is deposited.  You just can’t get it all.   People please dispose of your garbage properly!

Thirsty for Green, alternate view

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Log Man, detail

Working on this project has brought home to me how absurd our world really is.  For example, take this recent sculpture from early March of this year.  While walking on and over large driftwood logs, I found a smaller one made of plastic!  I’m assuming it’s part of some toy?   I gathered some nearby Styrofoam and other plastic elements and created this figure.  I think it registers feelings of surprise and alarm.  Below is another view of this figure on site.  I did save this piece for potential later display.  Other objects used include acorns, walnuts, and the sole of a shoe.  Of course, the chief absurdity is that none of these artificial elements has any business being in the watershed!

Log Man

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