I love water, and growing up, I would always visit the water, be it the Potomac River, or the streams behind our house in Newburyport, MA. No matter what I learn about water academically be it flow regimes, or hydrologic cycle, there is an ancient quality that Langobards and Celts incorporated into their art work that I feel deeply and profoundly - which can not be quantified. Understanding the essence of water is a challenge, you can’t hold it really, it either reflects or is transparent – becoming it’s surrounding, and then moves on. It is in the air around us and most of our bodies are water. I reckon that the quantity of water, as in the Potomac or the ocean causes the water in ourselves to realign with the pervasive currents that surround us. In my professional practice as well as my two and three dimensional art work, I attempt to honor that flux and dynamism I experience in the world, and to create a language to translate it to those around me. But there are times when that language is inadequate and it is best to let the images (moving and still) or the moment speak for itself as these "found" pieces do.
We recently installed a curtain drain on the north side of our barn to catch the surface flow that had been running under the barn and then erupting in our front yard in at times picturesque fountains during major rain storms that are becoming the norm for climate pattern around here – if you can say there is one. As a result, we created a new area of wetlands to replace the portion we filled to divert the water flow from under the barn.
I created a conceptual planting plan for the area to supplement the wetland seed mix to suit the wet meadow ecological context and ensure that the replication is successful. The mix of plants Rose Mallow, Joe Pye Weed, Blue Flag Iris and Turtle head are all in the surrounding wetlands with the possible exception of the Mallow. These plants have important habitat value for all manner of creatures, and I am glad to have been able with this drainage project to have saved the barn from settling (or worse) and to have created another section of wetlands that can support the incredible diversity of wildlife that surrounds us through the wetland’s nutritive, water storage and aesthetic functions.