Watersheds

WATERSHEDS Lorna has been working with water for many years and is attracted because it is a poetic and mysterious substance. It has many forms: liquid, solid, and vapor. We can see our reflections in it and our bodies are made of it. It appeals to our senses with its coolness, sound, and color. And water has many uses - it cleanses and it provides power and habitat. Yet water is more than this, still. The water cycle is a mighty force that shapes the planet. "Natural phenomena such as falling rain, flowing streams, and evaporating oceans carve the earth's surface into watersheds - an ancient geographical unit", says poet Gary Snyder. As a result of human activities, watersheds are at risk. The earth's green infrastructure is increasingly degraded while civic environments and water infrastructure are coldly conceived. At the same time, water treatment plants, stormwater treatment ponds, and water conveyance systems are inextricably linked to nature's infrastructure of oceans, wetlands, rivers, and aquifers. To address these interrelationships, Lorna considers how we mark the land, affect habitats, and influence the water cycle. She is particularly interested in using the cycles of water and the framework of watersheds as filters through which to experience the ecology of a place. Integrating process and art, Lorna creates works that respond to their places within watersheds. And her projects improve watershed environments while connecting people to the systems that sustain life. Pointing to a sustainable future, her works reveal the hybrid and changing nature of the environment by expressing the performative aspect of social and ecological processes. People experience these processes while playing a part in the vast performance of flows. Tapping into their memories and imaginations, people have experiences of place and process that range from the scientific and observable to the archetypal and sublime. "As marvelous as the high technology of water treatment and distribution has become, it does not satisfy the emotional need to make contact with the local reservoirs, and to understand the cycle of water: its limits and its mystery." - Christopher Alexander, "A Pattern Language"