Flow of Water

An Gates (artist) and Rochelle Gandour-Rood (water specialist)

Rochelle Gandour-Rood manages water conservation education and incentives for Tacoma, Washington’s public water utility.  In this video, she describes her work and collaboration with artist An Gates
Artist An Gates describes her collaboration with Rochelle-Gandour Rood, a specialist for Tacoma Water.  An explains how she made 3 sculptural books that work together in The Flow of Water to show how water comes from the large Green River Watershed to the faucet in her home.    

Artist An Gate’s statement about Flow of Water: I became interested in Tacoma’s water supply from the Green River Watershed when talking with Rochelle Gandour-Rood.  The Green River Watershed is nestled in the Cascade Mountains east of Tacoma. The purity of our drinking water begins there. The engineering of the filtering and transfer of the water is beautiful in its complexity yet I was interested in showing the distance the water travels to the end-user, to the faucet in my kitchen.

Among the materials from Tacoma Water were map after map of the watershed showing the direction of the flow of water from the watershed to communities. I was totally surprised by the huge size of the watershed on the maps and definitely wanted someone viewing my book to understand how its size compared to the size of Tacoma on a map.

I decided the best way to display the flow of water from the watershed was by using three books: one would be the map of the area from the Green River Watershed as the foundation, another would be the pop-up book of the watershed lying exactly over it where it was on the map of the first book, and the third book, a pop-up of the faucet in my kitchen sink bringing pure drinking water to me as well as my neighbors.

Flow of Water, a unique artist book, is made up of three books:

Book I: The Green River Watershed, 2020

Size: closed 4″ wide x 13 1/2″ high x 1/4″ deep; open 8″ wide x 13 1/2″ high x 2″ deep.

Structure: Pop-up

Materials: Card stock, maps, book cloth and book board.

Printing/Production Method: laser printed

Book II: Going the Distance, Delivery of Drinking Water, 2020

Size: Closed 5 3/4″ wide x 5″ high, x 1 1/4″ deep; open 32″ wide x 15″ high x 1/16″ deep.

Structure: Triangle book

Materials: Card stock, maps, book cloth and book board.

Printing/Production Method: Laser printed

Book III: Tap Water, 2020

Size: Closed 4 1/2″ wide x 5 1/2″ high x 1/4″ deep; open 7″ wide x 5 1/2″ high x 4″ deep.

Materials: Cardstock, book cloth, book board

Printing/Production Method: Laser printed

An Gates is an artist who lives in Tacoma, Washington. Looking up at the night sky, inspecting the patterns in nature, her own imagination, and learning from the people who have changed the way we understand and inhabit our world all inspire her to create artist books. Exploring structure, materials, and content to best express herself allows her to stretch the concept of “book”. An works with botanical mono prints, photographs and many types of paper. Themes in science, mathematics, nature, and architecture inspire her to create artist books in a range of book structures.

An Gates: e-mail: an.gates1@gmail.com

Rochelle Gandour-Rood is a Water Program Specialist for Community Engagement and Conservation. She is a part of the Customer Experience team for Tacoma Water, the drinking water division of Tacoma Public Utilities. She manages water conservation education, incentives, and programs for both adults and youth.

Rochelle Gandour-Rood: e-mail: rgrood@cityoftacoma.org; website: http://www.MyTPU.org/water

About her work as it relates Flow of Water, Rochelle writes, “Most of Tacoma’s drinking water comes from a special place–the upper Green River watershed–which is about 40 miles east of the city. The 100,000+ households who use this water use it in 100,000+ ways. I focus on supporting our community’s understanding of and appreciation for our water system (watershed, pipes, and end uses of water) and everything Tacoma Water does to provide a safe, reliable resource.”