Word City Studio: Water, Water, Everywhere
Written by
Rachel Aydt
February 2012
Written by
Rachel Aydt
February 2012

The first collaboration I'd like to share with you is one that Kathleen Sweeney and I embarked upon at the St. John the Divine Cathedral, in Manhattan. St. John the Divine is a holy place of contemplation, and this time one reflects on The Value of Water: the art of water, the scarcity of water, and the sanctity of water. Dozens of artists are shown together, smattered throughout the far flung chapels and corners, creating a unique convergence of meditation around that compound of hydrogen and oxygen which makes up approximately 60-70% of us. A Bill Viola's video installation rumbles from one corner (see stills from it, below). In another corner, South African artist William Kentridge shares his take on the precious resource, only his take is the stop-animation that he's become so famous for.

Check it out: this Saturday, the 11th, a panel is taking place that will include many of the artists (clickhere for more info about the event). The exhibit is up until March 25, 2012, so if you find yourself in upper Manhattan there's plenty of time to catch it!

Viola's video installation begins with three muses (mother and daughters?) in black and white.

One steps forward and into the water, which carries her into another dimension of color.

The Elder reaches back for her oldest. She doesn't turn into salt!

Finally, the youngest is carried across the color threshold. In short time, they'll turn once again toward the black and white.


Word City Studio decided to take reign of the inspiration and do some free writing and videography in the Cathedral.

Rachel's take:
St. John the Divine gets mad props for folding the topic of water into its sacred space. Water as art, as pollution, sickness, floods, and dammed water. Water as key destroyer and vulnerable entity to care for. Water is your heart and spilling out, empathy water. Cascading plastic water bottle water, hung in shredded and illuminated ribbons of lost water. Skulls of deers on staffs; the lost water and lack of water. The gathering of art around the miasmic topic of water should be seen and studied by every human who consumes, wastes, and cherishes our precious resource.

Kathleen's take was this video collage:

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