Tag Archives: University of Hawaii

Amusing Monday: Fabric evokes a watery dreamstate

I’ve become intrigued by the work of artist Mary Babcock, whose latest creation with Christopher Curtin uses sheets of fabric to evoke a feeling of flowing water.

An exhibit called Teem uses fabric to evoke the feeling of flowing water. / Photo courtesy of Don Frank Photography

Babcock chairs the Fiber Program in the Department of Art and Art History at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. (Review her resume.) Her latest artwork, in partnership with Curtin, “superimposes metaphors of water (movement/potentiality) and the sea (the infinite, comfort, danger, aloneness) to evoke a sense of dreamspace — the space of possibility,” according to the artist’s description on the school’s blog.

Teem, as the exhibit is called, got its beginnings at the Netshed at Alderbrook Station in Astoria, Ore. Now, I wish I would made the trip to Oregon while the exhibit, called Deluge, was still open. It has now moved, with some changes, to the Textile Arts Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.

As the description states, “Teem uses textile to create an environment where viewers find themselves under the surface of the water at the powerful juncture where river currents meet the ocean tides, where the individual meets the collective….

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Port Orchard couple grows trout with aquaponics

One might be tempted to say that a Port Orchard couple, Rene and Linda LaMarche, are breaking new ground by growing trout instead of tilapia in their backyard aquaponic system. But the truth is they’re not using the ground or any type of soil at all.

Rene LaMarche shows off the root system of plants growing in his aquaponic garden at his Port Orchard home.
Kitsap Sun photo by Meegan M. Reid

Aquaponics is a combination of aquaculture (in this case growing fish) and hydroponics (growing crops in water). The system is set up so that leafy green vegetables thrive from the waste excreted by fish, which are cultured for optimal growth. So you end up with a full-meal deal.

Reporter Chris Henry wrote about the LaMarche enterprise in a story in Friday’s Kitsap Sun. The whole thing sounds impressive, and I think the buying public will be more interested in trout than tilapia — not to mention the fact that trout are native to the Northwest and fit in better with our climate. As with any enterprise, the key will be to balance the costs, so that you can sell your produce for a profit.

Chris Henry likens Rene LaMarche to the “Johnny Appleseed” of aquaponic gardening. LaMarche envisions lots and lots of people getting involved in growing their own.

“We have aspirations of getting Kitsap County back on the map as an agricultural center,” Rene told Chris. “We’ve got a lot of expectations, not only for growing vegetables for a living, but also teaching people so they can eat healthier and live healthier.”
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