This is a work made for creeks. Linda collected silt from several small tributaries to the Palouse River and spent time in their niches walking, writing, print-making, and performing other such humble rituals. Daniela created visual-verbal pieces mingling these silts with other natural pigments and languages gleaned from her watershed journeyings. Throughout various stages of lockdown and the conflicting messages that defined the spring, summer and fall of 2020, they did this work and exchanged letters and poems. These elements together explore affective relationships to the animates in these marginal spaces, urban and wild, and the collaborative relationship that developed across space, over time, between Daniela and Linda.
What is our relationship to creeks as process and to biomes as archives of anthropogenic destruction, restoration, decolonization? How do we make and mark our commitments to practicing wholeness and healing that transcends illusory and exceptionalist projects of human selfhood?
dear places therein is a collaboration not just between Daniela and Linda but also with both of their home watersheds, many of which are buried, polluted, or otherwise altered or obscured. The two watersheds are about 400 miles apart, and represent dramatically different ecosystems and social contexts. By gathering and processing silts, Linda encountered a new intimacy with these essential archives that she felt compelled to “read” with senses of touch, smell, and sight. The silt and soil deposits forming the muddy creek margins of Missouri Flat Creek, Rose Creek, Dry Fork Creek, and the Palouse River became apparent as canvasses where muskrats, willow leaves, humans and invasive grasses left their marks, broadening the sense of collaboration. Revisiting her field notes and (re)imagining reciprocal gestures, Linda found language for a series of ritual poems to urge human creek-centric thinking. By mixing pigments from their watersheds in images that also combined fabric, language, and drawing, Daniela encountered rich, new questions about spatial and temporal distance, closeness, story, and overlap. She also found herself drawn to mediums and processes focused on creating unity and connection of unlike or sundered things, such as sewing, glueing, and layering. The resulting pieces feel like maps of discord and harmony, excavation and repair, weave and release.