Artist: Brittany Waters
Media: sand, ceramics, photography
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Dutzi Gallery
About the Artist
Waters, a fourth year Bachelor of Fine Arts with a focus in Ceramics, is no stranger to having her work reviewed. Huffington Post published an article last year about her prior exhibit in an article entitled “Uncomfortably Numb.” To read it, you can look at this link (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/james-scarborough/uncomfortably-numb-britta_b_10016862.html)
Speaking to Waters, she confided that her inspiration for her More Than a Sandbox exhibit was her memory first experiencing the beach in California. Prior to moving to CA, she had become very accustomed to the beaches in Hawaii. She brings a special attention to the local sea turtles by the San Gabriele River and the fact that human activity has encroached on their space. She mentioned in our conversation that the only time that an important issue is brought to peoples’ attention is when it is shown in social media. Through using her instagram handle in the photographs, along with the hashtag #MoreThanASandbox, she hopes to do just this for the issue of preservation in this community. Waters has aspirations of moving to Eugene, Oregon in pursuits of a graduate degree. She loves working with clay, as the process of using her hands and turning soft material into a piece of artwork is her passion.
Each piece in Waters’ exhibit is unique. She uses several different media, including photography, clay, varnish, and even sand. The layout of the exhibit guides the viewer through the habitat of a sea turtle. The use of the chair, palm branches, and projector lights showing the beach scene invite the viewer to partake in the art. Waters’ revealed that each sea turtle took about 3 hours to make. Out of the 118 she completed, only 2-3 did not make it through the kiln process.
As previously mentioned, Waters’ intention with this exhibit was to spread awareness about the endangerment of the San Gabriele sea turtles. “Hawaii beaches are much different than California beaches,” she admitted to me. The beaches here, she said, have more of a human presence. It was important for her, for this reason, to act as a voice for the sea turtles who’s space is being used by man.
Synthesis / My Experience
I thoroughly enjoyed Waters’ exhibit as it was an experience for me throughout. I enjoyed the back room with the chair and beach sunset. I genuinely wanted to sit and be one with the turtles. I agree with her in that most people are only made aware of an issue if it’s trending on social media. She made sure to tell us that if we posted a picture of her art on instagram to use the hashtag– that way she can tell how many likes and/or views it gets. The concept of spreading awareness through art is really interesting for me and I admire Waters for doing this.