These aerial shots are of industrial salt ponds that have existed in the South Bay since the 1800's. They are characterized by environmentalists as having taken away the lungs of the Bay. Currently they are a part of the "South Bay Salt Pond Restoration Project", the largest wetland restoration program on the Pacific Coast. The program has restored over 3,000 acres and when completed will have cost over 100 million dollars. Over the course of the next sixty years, these salt ponds will go back to their natural state. Since 2010 I have gone up once a year in a helicopter to document this epic transformation. I plan to keep on documenting these changes in the Bay as its biodiversity dramatically increases over the coming decades.
Earlier this year, I began constructing formal grids of the salt pond images. I selected this based on the year they were photographed and their color palette. This became my larger pieces of four square images printed on aluminum. In my latest iteration, titled "Salt Pond Biomes," I use these aerial photographs of the salt pond restoration as a backdrop for living biomes I fabricated out of plexiglass to house brine shrimp, algae, and phytoplankton. By assembling an installation with living organisms, my goal is to make visible the fascinating biodiversity below the surface of our bay.
Salt Pond Grid No. I, 2018, Aluminum Print, 40" x 40"
Salt Pond Grid No. II, 2018, Aluminum Print, 40" x 40"
Salt Pond Grid No. III, 2018, Aluminum Print, 40" x 40"
For more information, visit Barbara Boissevain's website.
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Palo Alto, CA 94301
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Last updated on April 29, 2021