Down the River ~ 4

Here’s where you can see a closeup of the glass cling that the gallery’s sign guy installed for me. I had taken a tiny-teeny piece of ocean wave clip art and turned it into a repeating tile. We used it on the gallery window and the upper outside edge of glass, wrapping its way around all the way down the stairs to the second set of galleries and to the conclusion of the journey in New Orleans. I loved the way the this graphic interacted with the gallery’s already existing white lettering signage on their windows and interior glass.

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There were about a hundred of these little birds, perched on river stones. Even though they started life in a factory in China and then made their way to my studio factory, they each had their own distinct personalities.

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In addition to the oil-slick sickness I gave the birds fluorescent blue feathers. My idea was that with enough toxicity, wildlife will surely mutate into a creature that we may not recognize as a bird in the traditional sense.

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This text came directly from a report made by an average citizen to the U.S. Coast Guard. Amazingly, you can find them all, thousands of reports, in spreadsheets on a federal web site. The text was printed on transparencies, cut up in wavy curvy shapes and then coated in an epoxy, creating the appearance of a puddle.

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Down the River ~ 2

 . . . And here’s the birds! that great you from the street. People do stop to look at them and read their sad story.

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As I made alot of these little guys – and big ones too, Mick and I started to call our house, the “bird factory.” It really was set up like a factory with buckets of feathers and birds laid out in certain order.

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You can just begin to see the text, trapped in a liquid-appearing epoxy, that people would stop and read from the street outside the gallery.

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“Down the River . . .” started in Pittsburgh at the head of the Ohio and took us down the Mississippi to New Orleans. Two narratives ran along these rivers. The one you see here is the reports people called into the U.S. Coast Guard in 2013 -14 of toxic dumping and spills along the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers.

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