This work references the floodplains of the Kalamazoo River and is generated in response to the pull of place, a desire to understand the landscape of my surroundings and what is concealed beneath the surface. The riverwas integral to the foundation and past prosperity of small communities along its path prior to becoming the victim of gross contamination by area paper mills during the 20th century. Although most of the industry has since departed, its legacy of dumping is renewed with each thaw and flood and through generations of wildlife.

This work is constructed from stretched, rolled, manipulated and layered flat clay elements that were fired as a loose and open structure. The resulting form exists in a brittle vitrified state, precariously spanning cast off concrete blocks. Long and low to the ground, it reflects my perception of this place– force and fragility, power and passivity, intimacy and isolation.

Superfund Areas 1-5, 2013
Vitreous brown clay on top of cinder blocks with steel pins 1' x 3’ x 30’, Photo by Steve Nelson