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Hydrocommons

This is a series of images and prose poetry: the images combine digital, traditional and experimental photographic processes, especially cyanotype, with encaustic and cold wax-oil paint mix. In this series, I often use coastal and riverine materials such as seaweed, sand, and silt in the developing and toning process, or encase them in wax on heavy archival photo papers.

These words and images continue a love affair with all things blue, but is concerned specifically with the ways communities and individuals have lived with water, past and present. This work celebrates marine environments but also offers a protest against the decimation of natural habitats. 

This work recalls place-based coastal histories and calls attention to a number of issues: private property, ownership, enclosure, access, dispossession, trespass, and extinction (of species, yes, but also ways of life). In his excellent illustrated book, The Art of Trespass, Nick Hayes reminds us that the public is excluded from 97% of Britain's waterways. I hope these images urge us to consider or reconsider our own stake in the 'hydrocommons.' 

Toward that end, some of the images here were co-created with members of communities in coastal towns affected by rising sea levels, flooding, land erosion, as well as the loss of the steel industry, decline of tourism, and disappearing habitats and ways of life.

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