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2021 Works on Water / Underwater NY Residency

Water Is Our Bodies, Our Bodies Are Water

“If water is in us and we are in water, the link between human and other-than-human beings, the earth and other-worlds, is profoundly intimate and visceral. Water is not a mystical, abstracted fable. It is not quaint when Indigenous peoples tell water stories or perform water ceremonies. Water represents that humans are not the preeminent life force in the universe, nor are human political and economic systems the most important forms of governance. Water points us to other life-forms and realities, to our ancestors and futures, to our relationships across and within and between, to connections and dependencies.” 

Confluence: Water as an Analytic of Indigenous Feminisms, Joanne Barker

What if humanity lived in constant awareness of sacredness? How would we treat our bodies, each other, the land and water? Water is our Bodies, Our Bodies are Water is an installation that creates a meditative space for water worship. Viewers of the installation can step into and onto the piece and move slowly along the edge.

Consisting of a 10-foot round, ground level piece the work contains the plant, Artemisia Vulgaris (common mugwort). Mugwort grows in abundance on Governors Island. The plant is a medicinal and dynamic plant that the gardeners on the island contend with and want to control. My use of mugwort in the installation deals with site specificity and using what’s available. Mugwort also acts as an intermediary for opening communication with water and the ancestral realm.

In the installation, mugwort is braided, made into dried bouquets, mulched and stuffed into sewn pouches, used as a floor covering, and the stems are stripped and placed side by side.