No Show Nino
written by
Holli Harmon
published
January 11, 2017
 This is WATER.

After an incredibly warm winter in 2015, that was dismally dry, the reality of another year of drought was devastatingly obvious.  I am a painter who has focused on how we interact with water, the whens, wheres and whys.  Now that this essential life giving resource, called WATER, is at an epic low, it has made me think about where it comes from. Frankly, I have taken it for granted.  Don’t you just turn on the tap?

David Foster Wallace opened his commencement speech at Kenyon College with this story.  

“There are these two young fish swimming along and they happen to meet an older fish swimming the other way, who nods at them and says ‘Morning, boys. How’s the water?’ And the two young fish swim on for a bit, and then eventually one of them looks over at the other and goes, ‘What the hell is water?’”

Steelhead Trout, 5x7"

He later explains that education should be based on simple awareness. 

 “Awareness of what is so real and essential, so hidden in plain sight all around us, all the time, that we have to keep reminding ourselves over and over: ‘This is water.’ ” 
Half Glass Full, 5x7

We think art is the practice of simple “awareness”.

Our upcoming River’s Journey Exhibition at the Wildling Museum is an artistic journey that explores the watershed that feeds Santa Barbara County.  It’s primary source is the Santa Ynez River and it’s many tributaries.  Rose Compass is a group of six women artists.  

Each of us bring different perspectives, ask different questions, and record different views that all pertain to this question 

“Where does our water come from?”  

Our travels, and the work that comes from it, is our attempt to bring a simple awareness to this resource, called  W A T E R.  We share what we learn about it’s reality and the miraculous path it takes before you fill your glass from the tap and nourish your body with it’s life giving essence.

 We hope you will follow along.