Between the Waters: The Emscher Community Garden
2010 by Marjetica Potrč and Ooze (Eva Pfannes & Sylvain Hartenberg)
Emscher Island, Germany
Potrč’s work centres around worthwhile and creative on-site projects, significantly marrying art together with environmental activism and awareness. It is a marriage that is perhaps not looked to often enough; the power of the visual is immediate and Potrč brings out both the beauty and informative narrative of these projects with her expressive ink drawings. These drawings are often in a series and colourfully tell the stories of place and a project’s impact, drawing us into these issues and solutions with visual intrigue – an arguably more probing captivator of attention than the written word. Between the Waters: The Emscher Community Garden was a project created in part for The Emscherkunst 2010 event in Essen, Germany and lies on Emscher Island between the Emscher River and the Rhine-Herne Canal. The project is a water treatment plant that combines the treatment of rain, waste and river water, the Emscher River being one of Germany’s most polluted. Visualising the treatment process, which is usually hidden underground, Potrč and Ooze highlight the necessity for its existence as well as making the process interactive. The installation is brightly coloured and architecturally abstract in brilliant colours and shapes that stand out on the green and usually fenced off (due to the polluted waters) landscape. Walking through the piece, one ends up in a bright yellow viewing platform ‘between the waters’ that allows a view over the regrettably filthy river. Looking at Potrč’s drawings while bearing in the mind the projects behind them, one is overwhelmed with their ability to pull out the driving inspiration and level headed idealism of the work done. They document as well as providing beautiful and fluid images of environmental plights alongside the efforts to eradicate them.
Potrč’s drawings from her project Rainwater Harvesting on a Farm in the Venice Lagoon are currently on display at The Drawing Room until 23 January 2011.