"Survival Sculpture (Water Purification) Snake", 18" x 18", acrylic and ink on mylar, 1990
One of a series of environmental sculptures...whose primary purpose is water purification... The configurations are placed alongside existing bodies of polluted water. The forms themselves, constructed as long, narrow, meandering channels and shallow wetland ponds, range from two to three feet deep, and are thickly planted with aquatic vegetation... and filled with microorganisms such that suspended solids sink to the bottom and are decomposed by bacteria. Water is diverted into these natural filtering systems ("functional sculptures")... and cleansed water is returned to the river after its "journey of purification".
© Patricia Johanson, "Art and Ecology: The Battle for Nairobi River",
BENNINGTON MAGAZINE (Bennington, Vermont), volume 28, number 2, 1996