I AM WATER is a public art exhibition organized by Our Humanity Matters and ecoartspace in collaboration with SaveArtSpace. The exhibition consists of ten billboards sited in the borough's of New York City and addresses our relationship with water and our human understanding that we are water.

Water is the origin of life with the innate purpose to continue creation. In water, we see that everything is connected and interrelated. Everything is liquid before it becomes solid. Humans, who are mostly water, depend on it to protect our DNA and for our basic survival. Water is not a resource but an essential connection to life. The one-sidedness of modern consciousness and our disconnect from nature increasingly subjects water to pollution. If we do not change our behavior, we will run out of water.

We humans cannot be healthy if our waters are not healthy. This exhibition shows water’s mystery and importance and helps to reestablish, on a deep cellular level, the intimate relationship with water that we have lost in modern life. 

Exhibition Curator: Patricia Watts, founder of ecoartspace

Production Curator: Tanja Andrejasic Wechsler, founder of Our Humanity Matters

Billboard Application and Procurement: Travis and Justin, SaveArtSpace

June 21 through July 18, 2021


(click on the images below to go to the artists' website)

Maria Whiteman  In her recent series titled Symbiosis are morphologies between human and marine life that recall some forms of life evolved from the sea. What we imagine as an alien world under the ocean is, in reality, an entire ecosystem of extraordinary ecological importance and remarkable bio-morphology. What you see above is a collage of live footage of marine life fused with slow-moving bare feet trekking across a different terrain marking the passage of time and space, weaving two worlds together. With symbiosis, different organisms not only live and evolve together; they are indispensable and interconnected to each other. 

Basia Irland  Every year hundreds of sadhus (holy person or religious ascetic) and pilgrims begin the arduous Narmadaparikrama, a circumambulation of the entire length of the Narmada River, India. Dressed in white and carrying their earthly possessions, devotees perform the meritorious act of walking from the Arabian Sea at Bharuch. They walk along one side to the river's source at Amarkantak in Madhya Pradesh and return along the opposite bank down to the sea, keeping the waters on their right. It's a two-to-three-year journey of over 1,600 miles (2600 km). At each small creek or tributary, the pilgrims scoop water into their cups, take a drink, and call out, “Bless Mother Narmada!” Everyday prayers are offered to the river’s flow, and small oil lamps are floated upon her spine. Along the route, pilgrims are given water, food, and places to rest.

Helen Glazer  I wasn't thinking of the long history of paintings of bathers when I took this photograph, but when I looked at it later I was struck by how much it reminded me of one. The brightly lit figures against a dark background whose spontaneous gestures lead your eye from one to the next in a symmetrical arc reminds me of a Baroque painting.

Holly Fay  Water is the universal transport medium of life, performing essential and diverse roles. My recent drawings examine water’s forces, states, and forms through large-scale works on paper. The drawing process is a means to visually conceptualize and celebrate the wonder prevalent throughout the underpinnings of the natural world. In this work, created through additive and subtractive manipulations of layered graphite, forms are void of defined boundaries, evoking fluidity and continual flux. Linear marks in the picture plane suggest the multi-dimensional aspects of physical space and the transitory qualities of water, energy, and motion.
Concurrent with the scientifically supported importance, there is also a need to recognize and acknowledge the marvel, beauty, and spectacle present in the natural systems and phenomenon which sustain us all.

Lisette Morales  The Everglades is a unique complex ecosystem with mangroves, islands, sawgrass, cypress domes, hammocks, pine flat woods, animals and plants. They provide drinking water for many Floridians and are home to Miccosukee and Seminole Indigenous communities, who have been the caretakers of the area for generations. It is a space of healing and spiritual restoration. In 2017 I answered the call of the water by participating in an Indigenous-led prayer walk from the Everglades to Miami. This event was organized by Miccosukee Grandmother Betty Osceola and her uncle Bobby C. Billy of Walk for Mother Earth with the Rev. Houston Cypress of Love the Everglades Movement. We walked in noble silence for four days, and I had the opportunity to see the Everglades at a slow pace. These prayer walks have continued over the years to bring awareness to water advocacy and protection of the Glades. This photo of Betty was created in the Everglades on January 7, 2021. Water is vital for our environment and ourselves because we are water.

Joan Perlman  More than twenty years ago, a series of dreams sparked my fascination with Iceland and the far north. Since then I've traveled there often, creating paintings and video in a language of expansive light, color and form inspired by the primal spare beauty and active geology of the region. The connection to this actual place is my muse, though my work is as much about transformative energy as it is about place. The raw energy of glacial waters shaping the land inspires many of my videos. With immersive imagery and sound they graphically represent these powerful forces as surfaces and light change with weather, location and time. The videos are meditations on the constancy and fragility of the remote north's ice and waters in a changing climate. Dettifoss is a still from this video series, filmed in north Iceland.

Ellen Jantzen  I feel my life has fundamentally changed; but sometimes it all seems the same. Where did my father go? Are my parents now united? What does a life mean after it leaves it’s body? Does the life-force rise and connect the terrestrial with the celestial or does it evaporate into thin air? These are the questions I'm grappling with; I hope to find my way to an understanding. I now speak with clouds, the earth...with trees. Words fail me. This work is titled Amplitude.

Margaret LeJeune  Along with collaborator Hanien Conradie they documented Conradie writing poetry on the surface of the River Dart in Southwest England. Exploring notions of communal and ancestral pain as well as the power of the landscape to transform and heal, the film Dart weaves together drone footage of a watery ritual with overlay of Afrikaans and English audio recordings.

Ellen Kozak  riverthatflowsbothways is inspired by my observations over twenty-plus years along the banks of the Hudson River in Greene County, New York. The video installation is comprised of intimately observed and gradually changing images that together create an immersive experience. Abstract in their appearance, the images convey the movement and luminosity of the river without offering views or realistic representations. I use the surface of the river as a giant watery lens that assimilates reflection, color, and pattern. riverthatflowsbothways creates a contemplative space that lengthens one’s sense of time and evokes feelings of wonderment and comfort but also conjures presentiments of destabilizing undercurrents.

Hillary Johnson  The Waters We Swim In is a global photography project consisting in black and white portraits of people immersed in water. Each participant experiences a guided process of surrendering to the water, self realization through profound healing of the deepest wounds in conjunction with reconnection to the unique gifts each of us possesses, which when ignited, gives purpose and meaning to our lives. Viewers and participants alike are called upon to discover mutual belonging and interconnection rather than remaining isolated and incomprehensible strangers in an increasingly divisive world. Johnson is interested in using the project to highlight and bring the healing work to under-recognized individuals and communities around the globe through creating more portraits and sharing this work in non-traditional settings and installations.

Luciana Abait  Iceberg, Red Sky invites viewers to reimagine nature through psychological landscapes that conjure alternate (or perhaps future) realities marked by adaptation and assimilation, isolation and displacement. Natural landscapes and human-made utilitarian objects or structures are twisted, scaled out of proportion, or impossibly adapted to new roles where they coexist in a magical reality. The icebergs represent me as a wanderer - shifting between oceans and continents. Mountains, in turn, are metaphors for the hurdles and obstacles I have had to climb along the way since I departed my native hometown in the 1990’s. Images are sourced from personal photographs, shots of snowfields and mountain sides, textbooks, encyclopedias and stock imagery, connecting personal experience to a collective geographic history. I work over the surface with pencils and pastels erasing the photographic quality beneath, and lending urgency to these emotionally charged images.

Note: this board was installed 12/13 at the intersection of Bedford and Church Avenues, SE corner, and was up through 12/31/21.

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