A new art project in West Hollywood’s Plummer Park gives visual representation to the amount of water needed to produce some of the most popular food products produced in the state of California. Entitled "Food-prints," it’s one of three art installations commissioned by the city for the park.
They’re part of a series called "Can You Dig It?" which is meant to provide an artistic response to the state’s ongoing drought. Brett Snyder, who designed "Food-Prints" along with Edward Morris and Sussanah Sayler, explains that the project is a "whimsical take" on a traditional Japanese rock garden "with large brightly colored fruit sitting in circular footprints that show the relative water footprint of each food product."
Large sculpted almonds are surrounded by a large white circle representing their prodigious water usage, while a humble tomato sits in a noticeably smaller space. Of course, as an on-site sign explaining the project points out, the rock garden’s entire area represents the water footprint of a single serving of steak.
Other projects on display at the park include pieces by artists Tim Murdoch and Mike Iwasaki. Murdoch’s "And The Tree Was Happy" installation winds whimsical rainwater-collecting tubes around trees, allowing observers to contemplate human decisions about water-use and their impacts on the natural world.
Meanwhile, Iwasaki’s "Aqueous Skin" pieces together squares of sheet metal salvaged from defunct cars to create a rippling surface resembling water. The project thus links the associations with car culture to the current drought-related challenges that Southern California in particular is now facing.
All three installations will be on display at the park through the end of the year.