The Story of NOLA Watters
Copyright by Lynn Bridge
Muck, emptiness, stench. These were overwhelmingly evident in New Orleans a whole year after 2005’s Hurricane Katrina and the accompanying failure of the levees to hold back the water from much of the city.
We arrived in 2006 as a church group to do the infinitesimally small work of dismantling a few ruined homes before their restoration could begin. We met most of the owners we were helping. Our sweaty, stinky, sometimes nauseating job was such a small effort in the larger picture, but we were consoled by the evidence that a handful of people felt a little more hope about their personal situations after we had finished.
My original vision for the art work in response to our group’s New Orleans experience was the three central panels seen above and in my blog post, “The Story of Nola Watters” . At the suggestion of my friend, Susan Crites, a fellow artist, I made two end panels for the triptych, creating a frame for the whole set. I then added some more ‘stuff’ to the flood panel, gluing corks, buttons, metal rods, and a mosaic piece of jewelry right on top of the tiles already there.
This piece is so long that it was challenging for an amateur photographer with minimal equipment to photograph it. The distortion in the photo shows! Each central panel is a 12-inch square, and the two end panels are rectangles.
My husband, Bob, came home to see me clinging to a ladder in the driveway.