Bremner Benedict: Hidden Waters: Desert Springs

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PROJECT STATEMENT

Since before recorded history, natural springs have been critical to human survival as dependable sources of water. Tiny compared to their vast landscapes, they hold clues to the health and longevity of earth’s fresh groundwater. Today about eighty five percent of natural springs have been drained dry or destroyed. The springs that remain open serve as a significant gauge of climate change and sustain twenty percent of the world’s endangered species. Springs support aquatic life and animal migration and they are important to indigenous people and migrant travelers. My interest in springs began when I accompanied a biologist and his students on a spring identification workshop. During my time with them, I discovered an entire world teeming with vitality and living in a mere trickle of water. I was immediately drawn to this vulnerable, yet critical detail of life that normally escapes notice, as I started hunting for springs to photograph and capture in time. We associate nineteenth century sepia photographs with our view of past landscapes. I added sepia to the areas around the spring because while the center of our attention remains vivid, over time the surrounding desert will slowly succumb to extended drought. Change is either too abrupt or too gradual for us to grasp. Desert springs are at an unseen turning point, but noticing and protecting them might prolong their lives, and our lives too.

ARTIST BIO

My projects explore how we process our relationship to the natural world and what are the consequences of the dissonance between the reality of how we live and how we imagine we do. My work is in collections at Fidelity Art Boston, the Center for Creative Photography, the New Mexico Museum of Art, George Eastman House International Museum of Film and Photography, The Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Fogg Museum of Art at Harvard, and deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum, among others. A partial list of grants and awards includes the Massachusetts Cultural Council Finalist grant, the Puffin Foundation Grant, the San Francisco International Photography Gold Medal, Griffin Museum Curator’s Award, a solo exhibition award at Texas Women’s University, a solo exhibition award at The Print Center, 3rd Photo Annual Awards Prague, and a Museum of Northern Arizona Artist Residency. I have had solo exhibits at the Boston City Hall Mayor’s Gallery, Griffin Museum at Stoneham, Federal Reserve Bank Boston, and the Hess Gallery and have been a part of numerous two person and group exhibitions including at the Danforth Museum of Art, deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum, the Phoenix Art Museum, the Center for Creative Photography, the Silver Eye Center for Photography, and Earth Now at New Mexico Museum of Art.

www.bremner-benedict.com @bremnerbenedict1770

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