"Disgusting. Putrid slime. Toxic ooze. Destructive battering. Deadly fury. Floating bodies. Killer storm surge. The weak trapped in their attics by rising water. Rapes, fires, looting." The wholesome image of my beloved water suffered dreadfully at the hands of Hurricane Katrina. Water behaved badly and I hurt, too.
It's about water. My 40-year professional career focused on water exclusively - running water, clean water - as an educator and scientific professional, and once passionate advocate. My 20-years on the road doing amateur photography followed each track straight to the nearest water; I'm hypnotized by its capacity to flow so effortlessly and calmed by its flawless sense of direction. My one-and-only photography exhibit, the 19 ways of water, was called L'esprit de L'eau. The Spirit of Water, in natural light.
This bubble burst after seeing the shock and despair and human tragedy wrought by water. I began to wonder if I could ever post another romanticized water scene. How could it be viewed as other than naïve or worse, indifferent. Where's the first responder. Where's the shelter.
Not long ago I plunged into the vast sea of Japanese woodblock prints, and printmaking, collectively called Ukiyo-e, the 'floating world.' Ukiyo-e landscapes keep things simple and never make judgments. The viewer is always encouraged to become a part. These restful leaves, the strong reflections, the light gradations seemed well suited for a woodblock print, and a way to say it's time again. 'It's O.K."
Title: © Floating Leaves.
Series: Water Scenes
Location: Stone Mountain Lake
DeKalb County, Georgia
Date: 25 October 2003