Quiet Water – A Wetlands Mask 2017
What is this sufferance?
Not a volcanic eruption, crashing wave, avalanche, roaring forest fire, or hurricane. Just a wetland quietly cleansing the waters of the world.
Everything about my waters is woven into a seamless tapestry: Heron beak, alligator eye, tongue of frog, mosquito hum, willow stem, horsetail stalks, fish eggs, waving sedges, wiggling larvae, fallen leaves. The stillness of silt, algal cushions, mesh of roots, myriad insects, microbes galore,… . All engaged in the never finished task of filtering.
You call me swamp, bog, marsh, quagmire, fen, vernal pool, prairie pothole, playa lake, peat bog, tidal flat, delta, bottomland… . But call me Nature’s alchemist, too, for I can turn poisoned water into pure.
You turn me into landfills for your manmade dreams. You give me your herbicides and pesticides, your pet pythons, your antibiotics, hormones — all your drugs, detergents, paints, plastics, petroleum. Your disruptive, disturbing, toxic, killing agents – they all end up with me.
I have been a bleached skull with eye sockets rimmed in tar alongside the shorebird sprawled flat with blackened wings. Choked fish and buried shrimp. And more. Oh, grievous plight.
Where will you be when you’re begging for a drink of clear water? I have endurance, and can renew myself. But I beg you not to overwhelm me, for I can help to save you from yourselves.
36”H x 16”W x 7”D
Materials: Copper wire, opalescent, iridescent metallic glass beads, cotton braids, a fish lure minus the barbs, turquoise and labradorite beads. Interior of mask is lined with cotton trimmed with braid.
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