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A Shattered Childhood

This is a water-feature that I made for inclusion in Spectra Gallery’s Living Water show, which opened on Thursday, March 7, 2019.


There is a popular sledding hill in Richland behind Carmichael School. One day when I was there, I noticed a few pieces of brightly-colored plastic sticking up out of the snow. Many people would just leave their broken sleds on the hill, or shove them into an already-overflowing garbage can on-site. I guess I began retrieving them simply to clean up the hill. I brought the pieces  home, thinking to make some kind of a sculpture from them. As time went on and the snow kept coming, I returned to the hill and collected more and more pieces. I was attracted to the bright, saturated colors and the way in which the sleds would snap into different-shaped pieces (the disc sleds especially crack into satisfying, crescent-shaped chunks).

All of the sled pieces in this sculpture exist as I found them. It was important to me to utilize the forms as they were, as it forced me to arrange them according to how they would best channel water. So, I didn’t build the fountain with a real design in mind other than the base and center pipe (for support). Of course, last-minute testing of the “finished” fountain necessitated some minor tweaks, mostly in the form of additional layered pieces to catch water that didn’t run as I thought it would.

Water is pumped from the base container up through the centre pipe, and exits through two spouts at the top. Try to follow the water from its separate exit points all the way back to the bottom. Do the two paths ever cross? If so, is it purposeful—by design? Or is it accidental—by gravity?

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