Headlands Center for the Arts

Mary O’Brien

california | architecture/environment
Affiliate Program 2019—2020
Affiliate Program 2018—2019
Affiliate Program 2017—2018

Artist Statement

I write essays about public domain lands that take place over several years, and where the events documented, and the places they occur, become indistinguishable from each other. Rooted in the research that I develop as an environmental artist, my writings offer inquiries into present day relationships between community, land, and water, and ways in which they influence each other.

These essays track both historic and current day events, and bridge science, art, and cultural histories. Mapping through geologic time and human history, and with focus on the connectedness of landforms, water courses, and human pathways, my works are intended to become a catalyst for affecting positive ecological balance.

While at Headlands

The notion of individual and collective responsibility in responses to increased environmental degradation are key themes in my essays. As deregulation of environmental protections becomes a potentiality, dissimilar communities find themselves saddled with equivalent environmental urgencies. Inside how these communities discover and proffer remedial civic actions are lessons about safeguarding the lands and waters that surround all our homes. I am working on combining my essays and visual documentation into a larger manuscript for publication.

Selected Works

Personal Website

http://www.watershedsculpture.com