Water is physically or metaphorically present throughout my practice. Here, I translate my ongoing experiences of viewing one northern American river through 4 years and 4 seasons into an interrelated video series, using the spiritually significant numbers (108, 99, 59, 36) often associated with the rosary and St. Michael's chaplet, misbaha, and mala. The idea of the use of beads as walking meditation, as an awareness practice in everyday life, is as my daily work of walking and being with particular bodies of water.
3 6 b e a d s (an archangel)
This is a Wisconsin river meditation in the form of a chaplet created for a Wisconsin Academy of Arts Letters and Sciences invitational exhibition honouring International Water Day 2015. A single river walked and photographed over the course of 2 years, this chaplet is part of an ongoing video piece of 108 beads chronicling this particular river over 4 seasons and 4 years.
36 Beads | A River Meditation
This is a piece created for an exhibition honouring International Water Day 2015.
b e a d s of 2 0 1 6
This is an overview of work and themes of work.
Beads of 2016 by Marsha McDonald
This was created as a contemplative exposition of my work themes for the Wisconsin Academy of Arts Letters and Sciences, International Water Day 2015.
f l u s h
I am experimenting with “flush” films (GIFS), short moving images of water.
Lit water strikes me as a tongue, a palpable language, with a visible written form.
GIFS offer an insight into the beautiful “script of insignificance”, a kind of shorthand (not unlike drawing, cursive, calligraphy), that can be read as the common conversation of urban fountains, streams, rivers, canals and ditches.
s h i m m e r
GIF of sequential stills of the Milwaukee River, Wisconsin, USA, 2015.
( n o )
GIF of the Nikaryo yosui canal, near Noborito, Japan 2016.
f u n n e l
Tamagawa fountain, summer, Japan 2015.
f l u e
Mukogaokayuen Station, Nikaryo yosui, Japan 2016.
canal overflow, Kanagawa, Japan 2016
s h i m
Nikaryo yosui (Noborito) 2016
l i s p
Tama River, silt, evening, Japan 2016.
s h o d o
Neighborhood drainage canal, near small modest family dry cleaning business, West Tokyo, autumn, 2016
d i a t o n i c
Nikaryo yosui canal, near boys calling to one another, school evening, 2016
n i k a r y o y o s u i
Kanagawa, Japan. 2016
s t u t t e r
Ishi-Nikuta, canal, autumn overflow, Japan 2016.
first shivered (thunder)
autumn night rainstorm, Kanagawa canal, Japan 2016
f l u x
Noborito, Japan. 2016
Drenaje en la ciudad de Segovia, España 2017
Rio cerca la ciudad de Segovia, España 2017
Crepúsculo en la playa cerca de Santa Pola, España 2017
Tormenta de drenaje Segovia, España 2017
o n d a g a w a
The Onda River (Ondagawa) in western Tokyo is an outlying urban river, undergoing cautious watercourse restoration. Under the sun, even shadows are penetrated by an intense stellar light.
Recent paintings are of waterfalls, often intimate in scale, and rapids found in northern American winter rivers. My pictures are multiple, split or paneled gestures, segments of a whole, episodic. I am thinking and feeling a kind of real site and imagined water/landscape numeration, the over and again, a "though" and "perhaps" conversation with specific watery places.
falls (runoff) spring 2016, northern river, america
acrylic, ink on canvas 36" x 72"
deep edges 2015 acrylic, clayboard 24 x 24in
rapids 2 2015 acrylic, clayboard 36 x 60in
rapids 1 2015 acrylic, clayboard 36 x 60in
rapids 3 2015 acrylic, clayboard 24 x 24in
rapids 4 2015 acrylic, clayboard 24 x 24in
rapids 5 2015 acrylic, clayboard 24 x 24in
rapids 6 2015 acrylic, clayboard 24 x 24in
s t e l a
This is a film done for a Ninebark Press 2015 book trailer for novelist/ poet Anca Cristofovici. Music composed by Tyler Marino. Video and book image by Marsha McDonald. Text by the author and Ninebark Press.
STELA TRAILER ( A Novel by Anca Cristofovici )
e l e m e n t s o f
This is an ongoing documenting of stones and worn objects - found in fields, streams, rivers, seas, on footpaths and in parking lots, from places on 3 continents. These are the discarded, the walked upon, the unnoticed that surround us.
2016 digital photograph 13 x 19 in (33.02 x 48.26 cms)
2014 digital photograph 13 x 19 in (33.02 x 48.26 cms)
Darby Creek Glass
2013 digital photograph 13 x 19 in (33.02 x 48.26 cms)
Digitally unaltered images of light during the night upon and in the Sakai River, Japan. This is an urban river, enclosed, contained, yet for me an expansive and expressive field of movement at night.
1000 c a n o e s
100 small gold leaf boats, with bronze ribs, found buried inside a large clay pot in Denmark. Subiya, Pesse, Noyen-sur-Seine, Dufuna. The relic journeys of life and death repeat themselves. This work is comprised of 1000 copper leaf and painted 8 inch suspended origami canoes. It was begun while my husband was ill and ended after his death. Moments aware, like beads in prayer, become a solitary practice. Folding fragile objects of passage remade and recorded a remnant of a personal voyage. It is an all too human journey, an inevitable watery event.
Installed for a 2015 invitational exhibition honouring 2015 International Water Day.
s a k a i g a w a
I have lived next to this river, walking along it. It is an ordinary river, and such ordinary places deserve attention. They can teach us about looking, liveliness and the spirited movement of things that surround us..
Created for the Venice Vending Machine ED. III, installed at the 56th Venice Biennale, this multiple addresses the 2015 summer crisis crossings on the Mediterranean sea. The number 1,867 is the United Nations Refugee Council's death count for Mediterranean boat crossings, January through June 2015.
s t o n e s
39 small patinated bronzes fill with water. Black stones, black water. Remembrance of fulvic seas and farmland - continuum.
k u r a
c y a n o t y p e s
b o r r o w e d o b j e c t s
f l a g c h a r c o a l p a p e r
me t a l w o o d w a t e r
2014年10月25日 Studio Kura 糸島（日本）
The cycle of the hours at Studio Kura begin and end with an often predictable but, given the challenges of rural life, not monotonous regularity. Morning, midday, and evening, rising or retiring, I wash, cook, and clean. Like the households around me, it is my ever-present routine. Three simple verbs - cook, wash, and clean - reveal much about the sacred and mundane in everyday life.
In this installation: on the left, water dripping dry (applied daily to left paper and bamboo sculpture), charcoal, sea salvaged wood and bamboo, folded paper, hemp twine, printed flag, cyanotypes of local deceased woman’s household items (family permission), black, pink and white shaman stones, bowls and bench from her garden 2014
s i n g i n g c u p s
Bronze patinated cups that sound when struck - rough, earthbound things with voice. Each cup approximates a chordal note - c f g.
small singing cup
c (c#) diatonic 2013 patinated bronze 3 x 2.25 cms
middle singing cup
g (g#) diatonic 2013 patinated bronze 10 x 6.5 cms
tall singing cup
f (e) diatonic 2013 patinated bronze 9 x 9 cms
n a m e s o f (water)
We name, natural forces forge local, globally located places of water.