About this piece:
Water is a resource that is simultaneously universally available and universally constrained: even in the midst of historic droughts, we expect it to appear, cool and clear, at the turn of a tap. We are advised not to drink out of the clearest mountain springs, for fear of bacterial contamination; to keep stores of it available for emergencies such as earthquakes or the zombie apocalypse; and yet, we wash our cars and shower and sometime have green, lush lawns are gardens. The scarcity of water is especially prevalent in the west, as rain conditions continue to fluctuate significantly from year to year as a result of climate change. This book combines archival photographs of the system that brought water to New York City, with pastepapers reminiscent of tunnels, rivers, and waterways.
Photographs of the Catskill water supply system in process of construction, 1918, with A topographical map of Hudsons River, Claude Sauthier, 1898, both from The New York Public Library Digital collections.
paper, pigment, book cloth
About the artist:
Stephanie Gibbs is fascinated by the ways that books simultaneously convey both factual information and emotional responses: the tactile experience of reading triggers memories and forms connections between the past and future, as hands flip pages forward and back. For the past fifteen years, she has worked as a fine bookbinder and professional conservator in private practice, following training at West Dean College (MA, 2003) and undergraduate study in English literature.