Gerrymandering the Marsh

Gerrymandering the Marsh

Artist: Eve Jacobs-Carnahan

Title: Gerrymandering the Marsh

Attribution: Gerrymandering the Marsh (mid-range view), 2021, Eve Jacobs-Carnahan, photo by Paul Rogers, Stowe VT

Year: 2021

Materials: Wool and linen yarns, felted wool, leather, linen, cotton fabric, wire mesh, day lily leaves, grapevines, rubber inner tubes, plastic bags, mulberry paper, rocks, wood, rigid foam, stone clay, acrylic paint, wire, hardware, custom printed cardboard cubes

Dimensions: full installation 43 x 144 x 108 inches

Image Statement: Gerrymandering the Marsh explains a critical aspect of the American electoral system. Its origins lie in the earliest days of the Republic, but sophisticated computer software has made the current practice of manipulating district boundaries more potent. The citizens in the marsh are represented by green herons and salamanders. The birds are alert as they crouch quietly, ready to snatch their prey. Richly textured patterns on the birds’ backs evoke feathers. The varied colors of fabric and yarn capture the way birds’ feathers change color with the light: green, blue, and mauve. Each pedestal grouping represents one legislative district with three voters. Count the birds and herons to see why district lines matter. Then consider the childishly drawn shapes adorning the pedestals. They are actual Congressional maps.