Deborah Thomas


This installation consists of a shower curtain covered with tiny photographs taken in the Arroyo Seco area during the torrential rains of 2005. Its purpose is to prompt viewers both to reconsider their intimate relationship with water and to question outmoded conventions relating to the pictorial depiction of nature. I have been fascinated for a long time with the extreme appearance and disappearance of water in the Southern California landscape and the manipulation and controversy over water rights that color local history.  In presenting these multiples on the transparent surface of a simple household object, I would also question established power relations in art—in picturesque landscape jargon, between the “viewer” and the “viewed.”


In the cause of environmental repair, one simple, individual act may be to choose to step away from established societal or landscape values and, as a personal practice, to keep looking freshly at what is around us, including our water.

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