Ross School - Senior Project 2008-09

Student: Patience Pollock

Mentor: Alexis Martino

Title: “Every Drop Counts”

Description: B&W Traditional Photography Printing, Mixed Media Collage Elements

This body of work was inspired by the privatization, over consumption, pollution and isolation of the water and the widely degenerated state of the world’s water supply. The images illustrate the dire sadness I feel towards the way in which the majority of our society approaches water- as a commodity, and not a human right. I captured the essence of the global water crisis in the symbolic lonely landscapes rooted in my interaction and interpretation of water.

I have created images that reflect upon many calamities occurring throughout the world. Incorporating a visual conversation with the viewer, I’ve left questions for the observer’s eye that are rather vague and ambiguous. Reflection, circles, layering and collage are the key components to the majority of my work. I feel that to other people, my work may seem unrelated to the pressing issues of water. However, the abstract focus of my work subtly reveals how there are multiple sides to perceiving water’s function, use and beauty. I produced traditional silver gelatin prints and then collaged them into selected images, leaving the melancholy of the plain black and white prints to linger among the collaged pieces. The surreal landscapes provide the metaphor for the viewer to engage in my perspective to view the truth that everything is not what it seems. The dull black and white images symbolize lifelessness, and the pale ugly truth of the ever-waning quality of the global water supply. The colored spots provide layers of production, surplus, life and health. I have contrasted the life and death of our most precious resource as a message of awareness concerning a largely unknown crisis, a catastrophe almost entirely ignored by a celebrity, news dominated culture.


16”x20” Patience Pollock b&w silver gelatin print

 “ two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom”

16”x20” the cycles

 “mirror mirror on the puddle could corrupt corporations be this subtle”  16”x20”


Presentation Summary:

      For my presentation, which took place on Thursday January 22, 2009 during 9th period, I explained my project from start to finish. I created a power point that conveyed the steps of the senior project.  I presented the topic to the audience by first conveying the start of my project. I revealed that it was the initial introduction from Carrie Clark and Marie Maciak that led me to such an interest in the topic of the privatization of water. I discussed my initial goals, which were to convey the message of water privatization symbolizes environmental damage and greedy corporations through photographs and visuals.

      My goals were not just to convey my message. I also had several different ideas that I thought I could incorporate into the project, such as arranging my pictures behind water bottles and displaying plastic as if it were an ancient artifact. These ideas did not turn out for me during this time of producing a final set of images. I explained this to the audience and continued to present my obvious objectives that are visible throughout the images.

      Besides describing the goals of what I would like to achieve during the course of my senior project, I also described the final outcome of the project of itself and how I reached my goals or how they altered along the way. The process and describing what I did the entire time took up several slides. I revealed to the audience the steps it took to create something that I would like. The process included many highs and lows. I used my challenges and problems that I encountered as the center for a great majority of my project. I told the audience that I learned skills of time management and not procrastinating. I came across new discoveries and found what I can and can not do. I revealed what I am capable of, and what I can do more of in the future when I attend art school next fall.

      I came to many conclusions at the end. I provided evidence to the audience that they ought to really rethink their consumption patterns, and realize that through the images I’ve made or not that their choices in this lifetime matter a lot. Where and how they get their water matters more than they realize, and I created the project all for that to be recognized and made conscious of.

      I believe I spilled out a lot of how this project—the theme and content relate to my life both personally, spiritually and mentally. The way in which I perceive the world has been changed through the in depth analysis.  

Brief Description For Catalogue: 

For my senior project, I have created a body of multi-media artwork that displays my thoughts, opinions and ideas about a serious controversy and global crisis we are now facing. In my opinion, it has not quite dawned upon the public as a whole  that conservation of water is more important now than ever. The world’s fresh water resources are running dry. Both consumption patterns and daily life amenities are not where they should be. Besides gluttony and surplus consumption patterns of the great nation in which I reside, the privatization of water on a global scale is also a major theme throughout the conceptual aspect of the body of work I have created. I have used black and white traditional printing mixed with my own digital images to collage and weave in and out the theme of how important water truly is. Water is all around us geographically and sustains our lives. An amount is even used to produce the jeans you are wearing! My intentions for this project are to grab my viewer, slow them down and force their focus on my abstract images to instill a sense of the necessities and basic need water represents for the human race. I have created abstract work that requires dissecting and though, rather than just being compositionally and aesthetically pleasing to the eye.  

Works Cited or Works Consulted

Board of Directors. "Water Privatization & Commodification Policy." 13 Nov. 2003. Sierra Environmental Club. <>.

Glennon, Robert. Water Follies: Groundwater Pumping and the Fate of America's Fresh Waters. 1st ed. Vol. 1. Ser. 1. Island P, 2004.

Gopinath, D. 2000. Blue Gold. Institutional Investor International Edition. February. Government.

Marks, William E. "The True Price of Fiji."
. 2 Oct. 2008. Alternative Web News Source. 4 Nov. 2008 <>.

Perlman, Howard. "Water-use Information." 7 Nov. 2008. U.S. Geological Survey Water Science for Schools. 22 Nov. 2008 <>.

Royte, Elizabeth. Bottlemania: How water went on sale, And why we bought it. 1st ed. Vol. 1. Ser. 1. Bloomsbury PLC, 2008.

Singh, Rajendra. "Harvesting Water From the Sky." P.O.V. 13 July 2004. 2 Nov. 2008 <>.

Shiva, Vandana. Water Wars: Privatization, Pollution and Profit. 1st ed. Vol. 1. Ser. 1. Pluto P, 2002.

Shah, Anup. "Water and Development." Introduction" Water Management Crisis Leading To Lack Of Access To Safe Water For Much Of The World. 12 Sept. 2007. Global Issues. <>.

""Thirst"" P.O.V. 13 July 2004. PBS. <>.

Community Member (Details)

Michael Combs, faculty instructor for sculpture department, School of Visual Arts