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Et l’eau repondit...
And Water Answered

For me, drawing is about observation and discovery, recording with marks on paper, the language of my environment. With my feet in the New Haven River, my eyes follow the layered currents flowing and spiraling along a ledge as if in accord with some intelligent, regulating force. As I gaze upon it, this visible movement, experienced as the language of water, directs my course of thought, evoking intuitions and sensations. With this deepening relationship develops an understanding and reverence for the complex set of relationships between water, the surrounding life forms and its communities.

Water Project Installation

The language of water became evident one day when I slipped a large sheet of watercolor paper into a shallow section of the New Haven near my home. On the paper a play of moving shadows appeared as if some kind of communication. Immediately I recognized these lines as a visual language, a universal expression of water.

“Et l’eau repondit” drawings are unconventional in that they are created in bodies of water recording its lexicon with a lithography crayon. They are an “entering” into the landscape whose colors, shapes and textures offer a sense of place. Many large and small drawings of related material have accumulated over the four years of this artist/poet collaboration taking on a liquid quality of its own.

Water Project Installation

Collaborating with poet Guy Jean has offered new insights into the play of word and image and the endless creativity to be found in the presence of a mountain river and an urban stream.

The many great rivers I’ve seen, from the Mississippi to the Blue Nile, and the smaller rivers, streams and creeks, all inspire respect and invite me to quietly observe, to leave an offering or make a drawing. Each has left me with the thought that we, too, are the river, carving our meandering path through the landscape of soul to some great ocean that contains us all.

Janet Fredericks
March 14, 2006

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