Water Portraits - About the Project
Water is often invisible. It flowsthrough houses, cities, and even our own skin, while our attention is elsewhere. This project attempts to make water consumption visible in a meaningful way. Statistics about water consumption are difficult to comprehendand are unrelatable to everyday life. For example the Canadian average is often given per capita per year, 1420 m3 (1,420,000 liters) in 2004. Which is an amount that is very difficult comprehend. This portrait series attempts to to bridge that gap between statistics and significance.
These 16 portraits were taken over a two year period in North America, Europe, Morocco, and Turkey. The amount of water in each photo is the average of municipal water input per person per hour in that country or city. I took the photos in or near people’s residences, while they were reading or waiting—doing something habitual that takes about an hour. The water was dumped by anassistant or in some cases, a friend of the subject. There were no second takes.
By combining the empathetic yet ephemeral nature of the portrait with the coldly informative statistic there is a brief moment of making the invisible visible.
This series is printed on newsprint in two formats: A 2,000 copy 16 photo catalogue, and 1,000 2x3 ft prints of each portrait. These prints are being mailed back to the cities where they were taken and offered for public display there and around the world. Also in the gallery are the original aluminum plates which transfer the ultraviolet ink to the press blankets and finally,the newspaper.
Peter Holmes holds a bachelors degree in Political Science and InternationalRelations from U.B.C. His photographic work has been featured in local andnational magazines as well as a number of group and solo exhibitions in Vancouver. A photograph in this series was printed by Photo Life magazine intheir August/September 2011 issue as part of their emerging photographer portfolio.