Concordia's Thursday Report

Vol. 29, No.8

January 13, 2005


Art from pond scum

By Robert Winters

Dean Christopher Jackson, Kristina Huneault, Associate Dean (Research and Graduate Studies) Liselyn Adams, President Frederick Lowy and Lynn Hughes.

Nissa Nishikawa and her art work
Photo by Robert Winters

Nissa Nishikawa, a Studio Arts major who is in the last semester of her program, has created a rather unusual piece of artwork called Scu, which she describes as representing the "natural intelligence of a pond."

Nissa says she was inspired to do the piece when she was strolling in Lafontaine Park.

She noticed a layer of scum on the rocks of one of the park's ponds. By carefully removing the scum and drying it, Nissa was able to create what she describes as paper-like sheets.

The dried scum, which looks a bit like a physical landscape map from geography class, includes urban waste and snails that are woven into the fabric of the material produced when the scum dried.

Nissa told us what she was trying to express with this work.

The scum of the pond "is an entirely flowing universe, a miniature ecosystem that our hands gently pulled from the tight-knit rocks."

Her collaborator on the piece was Tessa Wetherill, a dancer and former art school student.