Water Bearers : Vero Rose Smith
We are water, reconstituted as lungs, brain, and heart. Compositional affinity should be enough to inspire awe and reverence, but us literal water bearers mistake the ripples and waves of our own bodies as something separate. The average American family wastes 190 gallons of water a week. Greedy leaky faucets, immaculately thirsty lawns, sensuously steamy showers, and groaning toilets serve to suck away our liquid lifeforce. Furthermore, an estimated three quarters of water used for human purposes globally now ends up in landfills in the form of spoiled foods or recyclable-but-discarded goods. This wastefulness weakens our ability to adapt to a rapidly changing climate, and is likely to lead to massive water shortages in the near future. By 2030, it is possible that only sixty percent of our species’ water-related needs will be met - growing food, producing energy, and manufacturing goods will become exponentially more difficult.
What if we recognized each wasted gallon of water as a jewel, as a precious object worthy of care and safekeeping? Would the watery parts of ourselves swell in protective answer? If water was made solid but not cold, recognizable as a tear or a dewdrop but large enough to cradle in our hands, could we swim ourselves to stewardship? This exhibition consists of 190 water droplets, sculpted from canvas and colored in collaboration with the rain, snow, and ice.
Vero Rose Smith is an artist, curator, and educator currently based in Iowa City, Iowa. A recent graduate from Harvard Graduate School of Design's Master of Design Studies program in Art, Design, and the Public Domain, her work is primarily concerned with collective memory and the challenges of archiving human experiences in an increasingly digital world.
As Assistant Curator of the Legacies for Iowa Collections-Sharing Project at the University of Iowa Museum of Art, she combines her passion for the visual arts with environmental stewardship and social justice by producing traveling exhibitions and innovative programming.