Photography by Imrane Djibrine Mainassara
I took a break from blogging about Mapping Our Watershed, but it was for a good reason–to complete my MFA with the Confluence MFA program at the University of New Mexico. The experiential maps I created based on my field visits to Renninger Park, Rock Lane, and Tookany Creek Park were part of my thesis show. Click here to see the online exhibition.
Going back to May 14th (Mother’s Day), I facilitated the first art making workshop for the project at Cheltenham Center for the Arts, which focused on making both individual and collective works capturing the imagery of water. I had 20 enthusiastic participants of all ages, including several mothers with their children. We worked with two techniques: 1) creating a 15-foot long collage made from stylized photos of water taken by participants in the previous workshop; and 2) making suminagashi prints. Suminagashi (墨 流 し, translated as “floating ink” in English), is a Japanese technique of paper marbling created by floating sumi ink on the the surface of water. The thing I love about suminagashi is that, like water itself, it is not static or predictable.
The collage will become the bottom band of the finished piece, which will be in the form and proportions of Cheltenham Township. Workshop participants made two suminagashi prints, one for them to keep and one to donate to the project. They will be collaged onto the final piece. In upcoming workshops, we will be making watercolor paintings using soil pigments, learning about the role of plants in watershed health with educators from the Academy of Natural Sciences. Stay tuned by following this blog and checking the project page here!