Lucy Williams

(Bristol, Maine)

A red chair and ottoman that are nearly impossible to sit in. They are on stilts of old wood, instead of their normal legs, extending many feet into the air. The furniture almost looks like lifeguard chairs that I used to see at the beach. The chair and ottoman both are dripped with white paint on top.

There is both deep terror and dark comedy in waiting for the world to end. Maine’s coastal communities must adapt to rising sea levels, species exodus and extinction, as well as changing weather patterns. The methodology behind my work is to imagine a 4-degree warmer world and picture how the objects and spaces around me could possibly survive, individually. Through this process, I like to explore the resilience and damage that this individualism can inflict. 

In my proposed survival solutions, I use visual language familiar to all types of coastal people, Mainers and vacationers alike. The ocean has the wonderful quality of being both a beautiful, cleansing muse and a global toilet, a dumping spot for industry and individuals. Through my work, I try to merge the ideal and the reality. 

These photographs and accompanying artifacts document an ongoing performance in which a human household dissolves into the ocean, piece-by-piece. Each object is altered in some way to “survive” the impending sea-level rise. In an investigation of human resilience and failure, each object is rushed, desperate, and has an immediate, single purpose. As a result, the aesthetic of this impulsive construction is sloppy. My objects and installations present narrow solutions to a global crisis.

In a yellow pouch sits a copy of a book about quantum mechanics. There is a cat, which I think represents Schrodinger’s cat, staring directly into the eyes of the viewer. No matter what direction one goes, the cat will still be looking. I think the book about quantum mechanics being stuck inside a container draws reference to Schrodinger’s cat.
On a few pieces of wood from a floorboard is a hook that attaches to a rope. The rope is all bundled up, and set aside from the platform holding up the wooden floor.

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