Austinites are used to seeing orange cones, fencing and porta potties temporarily installed near Lady Bird Lake, signaling a special outdoor event; however, we are about to experience an installation of an entirely different kind. This installation, scheduled to be debuted on Sunday, September 29th, involves 14,000 prayer flags, looping for 2.5 miles between the Pfluger Pedestrian Bridge and the 1st Street Bridge.
THIRST is supported by the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation’s Artistic Innovation and Collaboration Program. Women & Their Work invited visual artist, Beili Liu, (as lead artist), Emily Little and Norma Yancey (architecture), and Cassie Bergstrom (landscape architecture) to collaborate on the project.
The project intends to promote a dialogue concerning the scarcity of water in our region. With our major lakes holding only 33% of their potential capacity, it is a much needed conversation. The dilemma faced by the water management authorities, regarding the mandated release of water from our lakes, illustrates the severity of the drought. This mandate was enacted to protect the Matagorda Bay system which is the second largest estuary on the Texas Gulf Coast and serves as a nursery and feeding area for many species of fish, shrimp, shellfish and other marine life. The LCRA has requested relief from future mandatory releases in order to maintain our reserves but at what cost to the estuary?
This installation is an example of art driving change. The exchange of ideas it will promote has the potential to find creative solutions to this dire situation. The opening event to kick off this amazing project will be Sunday, September 29th, at 7:30-8:00 on the Pfluger Bridge near Lamar.