Cheryl Buckmaster
University of Saskatchewan
Ink and acrylic paint on Mulberry paper
42” h x 18” w

“Filtering” is the synthesis of the scientists sharing their thoughts and process, and my own learning and artistic process. Imagery is used to symbolize a constructed wetland within a “whole” ecosystem and the responsibility humans have to the whole. I chose to center the species Slender Wheatgrass taking up the OSPW. Plants and their associated microbes bestow on us a clean environment with their assistance, and they have these powers innately. But, alas! We don’t know the whole process – nature is full of chaos, and unpredictable webs of interdependence. Thus, the coyote, the original trickster, hides within the scene. The coyote represents the innate mystery of the natural world, and the tricks it will play are for us to learn from. If nature is to be “used” to work for humans, we invite the unknown and let go of control. Let’s bow, and honor natures innate balance, its mystery and powers, its all knowingness. Let humans work for nature. Slender wheatgrass seeds are blowing in the sun, blood is running from the bunny, the bunny ate the grass, the coyote eats the bunny. We drink the water, our life source, filtered by plants and microbes synergistically. The blood falls onto the larger adult’s hand who holds the responsibility of ensuring safe, clean, water into the child’s hand and to future generations. In-depth interviews with the project team, and preliminary research findings from those teams act as new knowledge in the creation of this painting, and are essential to sharing what we are learning about constructed wetlands as a tool for regenerative sustainability.

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