"Critical Mass"


The Nahant Marsh was the subject of two exhibits in which I participated. It seems like an unlikely place for inspiration. On the surface it is. What would become the Nahant Marsh was used as a shooting club for almost 30 years. Lead poisoning became obvious in the mid 1990's and the EPA began a cleanup that would take roughly four years. Now the land is protected and the nature center that was built provide learning experiences.

The more you know about the Nahant Marsh the more interesting it becomes. I went with a basic history lesson of the marsh and created a piece that points to the abuse endured by this now protected wetland.

I decided on a familiar concept for my first piece in this project. I chose the large metal ball to represent the 140 tons of lead-contaminated soil that was removed. The coil of rusted wire wrapped around a broken canning jar points to the impossibility for birds to create a safe home in such an environment. The Evening Grosbeaks are a climate-threatened songbird reflecting the human activity that threatened the life of the marsh before the cleanup.