Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The Creative Process - Danger Alert for the Hudson River

We asked Doris Goldberg to tell us about the piece she is exhibiting at "Focus the Nation."

I was inspired to conceive this work after attending John Cronin's class at Bard on the Hudson River and hearing about his experience on the River and with environmental activism. "Danger Alert for the Hudson River" is an 8 by 11 foot hanging assembled for the "Focus the Nation" conference that addresses climate change at Bard College.

I chose to represent the River’s past with photographs taken in the late 1800's primarily by Seneca Roy Stoddard. These photographs show the energy and grace of the River in a former time.

My thoughts distilled into a Haiku-esque statement which I made into a banner:

salt waters pulse north mountain streams cascade south
mighty river flowing both ways

danger alerts as ice caps melt and seas rise flooding
high banks drowning both past and present
calling us to guard, calling to protect the life of
our Hudson, our comfort and joy
mighty river flowing both ways

Native Americans recognized the tidal aspect of the Hudson, calling it the 'river that flows both ways'. We now know that for over 150 miles -- from New York Harbor to the dam at Troy -- the River is tidal. As the ice caps melt and the seas rise -- some estimate over 30 feet by the year 2050 -- there will be dramatic changes as the banks are flooded with sea water.

Mounting the photographs and banner on fish netting, using fabric to suggest mountains, developed into more of a project with thread and needle than I could manage. Jane Sunshine graciously came to my rescue, volunteering her sewing expertise for several days

"Danger Alert for the Hudson River" will be exhibited at the Bertelsman Campus Center at Bard College from Friday, February 1st until Monday, February 4th. Update: the exhibit has been extended through February 7th.

All are welcome to view works on climate change by regional artists. The opening reception will be Friday, February 1st at 6:30-7:30 pm.

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