This month’s ArtWalk at The Art Emporium:
Yes, Water. Clean, nontoxic water. I’m talking about a time not so long ago when I could scoop up a handful of water from any stream in WV and drink it without a concern for what might be it it. Gone are the days, and water, of my youth. Water is the Primary ingredient for all life on Earth. There is no life without it. Each human being is more than 75% water.
Untitled - Paul Corbit Brown
The Industrial Revolution and the dawn of the Disposable Age have found more ways to contaminate our water than we could ever have imagined. We used to believe we could simply dump things in the river and they would go away. Now we know better, but we don’t act better. Our streams are full of garbage, heavy metals and medical byproducts. Aquatic wildlife in WV streams is already becoming genetically mutated from selenium runoff from mining operations, municipal water supplies are testing positive for high levels of antibiotics and birth control chemicals, while many streams are choked with garbage from homes and highways. Municipal water supplies are normally only tested and treated for bacteria, they are rarely, if ever, tested or treated for heavy metals or other toxins produced from mining, agriculture and pharmaceuticals.
Nature moves in cycles and circles, water is a part of this movement. Genetically mutated aquatic life becomes a part of the food chain- our own food comes from this. We all live, eat and drink “downstream”. The Earth moves to cleanse herself, but it takes her much more time to become pure than it takes for us to sully her. In the end, she will purify herself by purging the thing which defiles her: the Human. Without humans, the earth will return to a more balanced cycle.
Ironic, isn’t it, that humans are the only species capable of understanding that we are polluting our life support system to the point of a mass extinction (which will include us) and yet we are the only species to continue to do so.
The combination of Nik Botkin’s sculptures and Paul Corbit Brown’s photographs produces an indelible image of how poorly we are caring for the very planet that gives us water and thereby, Life.
Now we know better, will we do better?