by Laura Matiz
The Water Tank Project aims to raise awareness about that most critical of resources that we sometimes take for granted: water. H2O. There are 17,000 tanks in the city, hinting at the abundance we enjoy, but that is not the case in many parts of the world. Founded by Mary Jordan, an artist and filmmaker, The Water Tank Project wraps artwork created by acclaimed artists around the iconic water tanks of the New York City skyline. This project caught my attention a couple of years ago when I was introduced to it by Brook Christopher, the official photographer for The Water Tank Project, and I have been following the project since.
My photo safari began when Brook Christopher – who has been documenting the process since inception – asked me to accompany her on a mission to capture a couple of the covered tanks in lower Manhattan. Her task was to photograph "Gush" by Marilyn Minter and "Psychogeographies" by Dustin Yellen, shown below.
Brook is a meticulous photographer and everything has to be just right. She was hoping to capture Gush from the Brooklyn Bridge, using the city skyline as a the backdrop. In the freezing cold, we took the pedestrian path up to a suitable point over the East River to take the photos. Afterwards, we walked to Grand Street, near Ferrara's, another NYC landmark, where we picked up a hot cappuccino to warm us up after braving the winds on the bridge. From the streets, Brook captured some amazing pictures, but to do so she measured angles, climbed up barriers, and patiently waited for the appropriate lighting. I also got a few shots using my trusty iPhone. You can see Brook's photos on the official site. Mine are shown below.
The Water Tank Project website includes a Google Map with all the existing tanks. Each pin shows location, the artwork, artist information, and the artist's statement as shown below in this screenshot. (Click on map to go to the live one.)
I am grateful that Brook invited me along for her photo shoot. She is a fabulous photographer and friend. You can see her photos on her Instagram site.
For more information on The Water Tank Project, this video produced by HP provides background on Mary Jordan's idea and this amazing public art project. (If you watch carefully, Brook and I make a cameo appearance chatting with Mary at 1:24 of the video.)
Follow the project on social media: "Water Above All," #wateraboveall. [Tweet this]
Category: Art, Museums