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Tomiko Jones

SPE Member since 2007
Member Chapter: Midwest

Tahoe Co-Lab

"Approach the sea.
Light matters. Time matters.
Disperse patterns of sand and stone.
Pour water. Spray water. Submerge.
Submit to the elements in a layered ecology."

Water is a tangled history. After more than five years of severe drought in California, this year's winter storms brought an incredible amount of rain and snowfall. Come spring, the unprecedented precipitation brought relief to the drought stricken region, but along with the water came a new set of concerns: floods, infrastructure damage, cracking dams, and overflowing reservoirs.

"Waterlines" is a response to the urgencies of water in the age of extreme weather and climate change. How do shifts in weather and the fluctuation of scarcity to abundance shape the climate of behavior? When and where does it become personal?

In the polarities of too much and too little, photographer Tomiko Jones and painter Jonathan Marquis, wrestle with the tangibility of the elusive element of water. The fluid is so factual as it flows from a faucet or is contained in plastic bottles, yet so mythic, powerful, and destructive. Its immeasurable extent is impossible to grasp.

A series of cyanotypes, created on-site in an intensive two-week collaboration in Northern California, thread together a correspondence of water and human activity. The immediacy of the cyanotype engages both photography and painting, presenting an appropriate medium to collaborate and examine the issue of water.

The works began with a 4x5 field camera to document sites of water containment, regulated flow, and public use. The locations follow the winter floods after years of drought from mountain to reservoir, to river and finally, to sea. The negatives from the field camera were then exposed onto cyanotype sensitized paper. Next, a second layer of cyanotype solution was painted on top and around the existing image, and brought to the transitional shore of the Pacific Coast. Here the works were completed in collaboration with the sun, sand, rock, and sea.

Tomiko Jones + Jonathan Marquis
July 2017

Waterlines: Yosemite

Waterlines: Oroville Reservoir

Waterlines: Navarro River

Waterlines: Pacific Ocean

Waterlines: Hetch Hetchy

Waterlines: Elk Beach

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