This drawing captures the image of a mother and her son, Joseph, standing on their bed in order to avoid the water rushing into their home. In the Dominican Republic this is not an unusual circumstance; when it rains, the holes in their roofs and doors are unable to stop the incoming water.
My artwork investigates how water poses as a connection between people around the globe. Water moves through a closed system; all H2O molecules on earth today are the same molecules that were present a billion years ago, and will be present in the future. Water supports all life on earth making it possible for plants to photosynthesize and animals to reproduce. There are people living two houses, a city, a country and an ocean away that will never cross my path, but all of them will somehow come into contact with the water from my tap.
Through my artwork, my intention is to bring forth the various perspectives that water carries to create awareness about the tensions that people are experiencing around the world due to this substance. Everyoneâ€™s perception of water is different; while some experience it as revitalizing, others associate it with feelings of destruction. In my drawings I have chosen to portray water through thousands of small markings because it carries infinite perspectives, elicits countless memories and, fundamentally, it is made up of millions of molecules.
The configuration of my marks mimics that of H20 molecules; each line fits perfectly amongst those in its surroundings. The idea that thousands of lines are perfectly compacted into a restricted area can be unsettling for the viewer: there are so many different components involved in the bigger picture. But it can also present a calming effect: each component is part of the pattern, a formula that makes sense. Ultimately I am using water as a metaphor to represent the idea that there are multiple ways to interpret life; no one perspective is enough.
Jessye Coleman-Shapiro , 16 yrs
Etobicoke School of the Arts