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Carl G. Hedman

Independent Artist and Emeritus Professor of Philosophy, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Door County Watersheds

Door County Watersheds.
Photocopy, spray paint, ceramics, ceiling tile.
24" x 24".

"Two Childhoods: A Meditation on Barry Moser’s Biblical Image" reflects the worry that present forms of globalization are not addressing the profound differences in life prospects between, say, middle-class American children and children living in sub-Saharan Africa. By using an illustration from the Bible, where preaching is taken for granted, I mean to admit that the piece is a bit "preachy." I leave it to the viewer to decide whether this helps or hinders the visual experience.

"Door County Watersheds" is one of a series of mixed media pieces that draws on my interest in watersheds, the natural basins that determine surface water flows in a particular area. It attempts to combine two-dimensional representations of an area with three-dimensional ceramic representations of watersheds. In so doing, I hope to make the notion of a watershed less abstract. My use of historical maps is meant to further this process of concretization by giving the watersheds a temporal dimension.

I’d like to thank Max Yela of UWM’s Special Collections for pointing out Barry Moser’s wonderful illustrations for the Pennyroyal-Caxton edition of the Holy Bible, and Chris Baruth and other staff members at UWM’s American Geographical Society Collection for helping me find maps that inspired the watershed pieces.