Within a museum vitrine, originally made to protect precious art and other cultural objects, organisms (plants, animals, plankton) and found materials (detritus, water) form a displaced but functioning ecosystem. Once displaced within the vitrine, aquatic organisms acclimate to become characters in a displayed theatre of life: eating, breeding, living, struggling and dying as they would in the wild.
Eco-displacements are part performative works, where participants join in EcoActions to collect specimens, artifacts and polluted water, part sculptural installations, that show a living cross-section of a wetland and often the degradation found within. This creates a tangible way for people to physically engage and visually access the normally hidden inner life of wetlands.
My hope is for viewers to become inspired to learn more about the ecology of these complex and often fragile ecosystems and the animals living there. It is important we begin to recognize that these wetlands are not separate from their daily lives but are integral to our biological communities. From the phytoplankton that helps to create the air we breathe, to the fish and shellfish that we eat, we’re connected to the water and its inhabitants. Following the exhibitions of the Eco-displacements, participants are invited to release the organisms to their wetland homes.