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Ansley West Rivers

Artist Statement Submitted 2015

This series of photographs captures the watersheds of seven rivers—the Colorado, Missouri/Mississippi, Columbia, Rio Grande, Tuolumne, Altamaha, and the Hudson—and considers the fragile state of fresh water across the United States.

The photographs are not aimed at documentation but rather the depiction of unseen changes occurring on all rivers. I have made a variety of tools that I place in front of my 4x5 camera lens to expose specific areas of the negative. This allows me to build each image uniquely. The aim of shooting this way is to show the viewer the effects of industry, global warming, agriculture, power and the unquenchable demand for fresh water that is impossible for the eye to see.

The photographs create a portrait of seven rivers that depicts the journey each river takes and the struggles bound to every drop of water.

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