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What Water Do You Come From?

Claire Brunet

What Water Do You Come From?

Woodcut print 

60" x 84" edition 5/5

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Claire Brunet’s What Water Do You Come From? is a multi-faceted series that specifically delves into humanity’s impact on marine life and the state of waterways.

The visual was originally developed in the context of the SCANZ 2015 Water and Peace residency project in New Plymouth, New Zealand entitled Convergence, Brunet created a night time interactive projection at Pukekura Park, combining images and animations created from an assemblage of 3D digitized forms, combined with audio.

In What Water Do You Come From, an oyster shell, bobs up and down on an ocean. The shell is open and cradles an unexpected object—an everyday toilet paper roll—encapsulating a surreal juxtaposition between natural and human-made elements. The work serves as a contemplative bridge between the organic and the artificial, prompting a dialogue on our relationship with the waters that sustain us.

The series integrates various artistic mediums, from sculpture and woodcut prints, to 3D print sculptures. The woodcut was created in the context of a collaborative project organised by l’Atelier de l’Ile, a printmaking studio located in Val David, Quebec. The group Project Faire Impression au Rouleau Compresseur included a public venue where artists’ large-size woodcut templates were performatively printed outdoors using a steamroller. This artistic evolution spans from a nocturnal projection to a woodcut print series, and 3D sculptures were initially produced via 3D printing and later cast in bronze. The series culminates with a collection of small bronze sculptures.

"What water do you come from?" is a question posed by the Māori People of New Zealand. Rather than centring on the individual by asking “How are you?” or “Where are you from?” this question promptly anchors the conversation to one's relationship with the surrounding natural world. In an age where water has become increasingly politicized and monetized, “What water do you come from?” carries a depth of metaphorical and literal meanings, prompting contemplation about personal roots, heritage, and the idea that we, as individuals, are inextricably linked to our origins, and the environments that have shaped us.

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