By Candice L. Cravins
Photographer Deborah Hughes will present her solo exhibition, “Water Footprints: Photographs and Artistic Expressions of Water Wanderings Around the Colorado Plateau,” at the John Wesley Powell River History Museum in Green River from January 10 to June 11, 2022.
“Footprints of Water” exposes and frames the infinite signatures that water leaves in its journeys through the desert landscape. Mud, ice, clouds, rapids in a river, rotting leaves in a stream, and even condensation dripping from a window at sunrise become the center of attention through the lens. by Hughes.
“I diverted my appeal from the red rock canyons and mesa views during my 26 years living in Southeast Utah,” Deborah said. “Although geological formations color and characterize the Colorado Plateau, I have come to think of water as the main character, both in its excess as it sculpts and sweeps away the landscape, and in its scarcity as its absence dries up and sharpens the senses as only loss can.
Deborah wanders in canyons, washhouses and river corridors with diverse topography, sometimes in search of too much and sometimes not enough water. Through abstract compositions and impressionist movement techniques that she nicknamed “camera dowsing”, she captures what captures her watery humor. Deborah’s photographic art invites the viewer to a more intimate and visceral experience of water crossings.
“For me, water is more than a rationed resource. Water is who we are and how we move. It goes to work and comes back to the beat of our hearts and carries the chemicals that open and close our minds. The very essence of our lives is a flash of wet kisses, ”she said.
Deborah prints her own work with the exception of the images printed on metal. She has recently started drawing in pen and ink using rock art and Indigenous painting styles to explore visions of water tracks beyond the camera lens.
“We are delighted to announce the opening of this exhibition,” said Candice Cravins, general manager of the museum. “Deborah has regularly contributed her beautiful work to our annual Canyon River Runners Art Show, and we are thrilled to be working with her to showcase even more of her pieces.”
The museum works regularly with regional artists to host temporary exhibitions showcasing the landscapes of the Colorado Plateau. These temporary exhibitions complement the museum’s permanent exhibitions and give artists the chance to present their work in a venue that receives approximately 18,000 visitors per year.
Entrance to the exhibition is included with regular admission to the museum. The museum is open Monday to Saturday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.