At Saint-Gaudens: Your Coffee’s Footprint


Submitted 3 months ago
Created by
Susan B. Apel

How much water is in your morning cup of coffee? 35 gallons, according to artist Clive Moloney. His contemporary sculpture at Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site in Cornish NH is a physical depiction of your water footprint. A series of 27 blue pipes shoot into the air, their heights determined at 1 centimeter per gallon, showing the total amount of water used in the production of various goods. A cheese sandwich (124 gallons) is represented by a pipe 124 centimeters high. A 12-ounce steak? A whopping 1529 gallons, to be outdone only by leather shoes (2,116 gallons) and a flight from Boston to Toronto (19,574 gallons.) Moloney’s sculpture is a clever visual take on the message of water conservation. (More footprint details can be found at the end of this post.) Moloney was born in Ireland, lives in Boston, and has exhibited nationally and internationally. Your Water Footprint is his first outdoor installation. 

A little bit of Cristo? My first thought on seeing The One That Got Away (featured photo, top). Sculptor Rosalyn Driscoll’s fabric undulates (no other word will do) through the trees of the Birch Allée. The artist is a member of Sensory Sites, a London-based art collective that likes to explore multi-sensory perception. Driscoll stated that she and Saint-Gaudens share “a fascination for the expressive qualities of cloth and other soft, malleable materials.” Also reminiscent of the late artist Eva Hesse (who seems to keep coming up in this column of late.) 

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The third and final installation is Fabienne Lasserre’s To The Nothing, which consists of two colorful sculptures in the lower field, and alas, the least physically accessible of the three. Lasserre is a native of Montreal who currently lives in Brooklyn. 

One of two abstract pieces by Fabienne Lasserre.

This multi-artist exhibition, Natural Forces: Three Sculptors Respond, opened on June 2 and continues until October 21, 2018. Of course, the rest of the Saint-Gaudens site is available for your exploration, including the recent Standing Lincoln and those gorgeous little nooks of garden.

I intended to end on the image of that golden turtle and beautiful purple blossoms. You might, however, want more stats on water footprints. If so, read on. And then, please subscribe to this blog. 

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