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Ruth Wallen
2'x8' Wooden sculpture at Fort Mason, San Francisco Bay after 5 months, 1980

Ruth Wallen   Contact sheet showing the growth on the wood after 2-3 months, 8"x10", 1980
Ruth Wallen

The Sea As Sculptress

Fort Mason, California

Pollution controls resulted in improved water quality in the San Francisco Bay and increased abundance of marine life that ate away the old wooden piers and ships that many wished to preserve. To explore this seeming paradox, I placed wooden sculptures in the San Francisco Bay in three locations and by means of macrophotography documented the succession of growth on the wood over a year's time. The work was completed while I was artist-in-residence at the Exploratorium and presented there in a series of lecture/performances that mixed storytelling with scientific information.

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