As I sit here sipping an iced latte and appreciating the AC offered in my local coffee shop, I can’t help but think of the thousands of homeless in Los Angeles who don’t have the privilege of such comforts. Concerned with the extreme heat wave we’ve been experiencing, I researched any organizations in the city that might be handing out water to those on the streets and was pleased to find a crowd-fund geared just for that. I felt accomplished as I clicked “submit” and sent a few dollars to aid those in need. I had contributed. People would be hydrated. I helped solve a problem.
But not really….
All of this just brings to the forefront the dire-straits our great state of California is in: the drought. I know. We’re probably all tired of hearing about it while simultaneously feeling a slight clench of anxiety at the very real threat looming over us.
Or maybe it doesn’t feel real. Perhaps the scenes of rationed water and cracked deserts we see in films like Mad Max seem just too fictional to really happen to us. We are a developed society, no one would let things get that bad, surely. Perhaps the drought is nothing more than an attempt to turn off the faucet while brushing your teeth, letting your car turn into a “dirty pig” finger-painted on your window or letting your lawn “go gold.” An inconvenience.
What is even more frustrating is the bouts of rain El Niño has brought our way creating a false sense of security that things are now back to normal. Despite government urgings that this rain won’t bring us anywhere near back to where we need to be, month-by-month we have been falling short of our conservancy goals.
Now more than ever it is important to conserve water. Every little rain shower we get is something to be grateful for, respect and treasure. Think of it as Earth handing us a bottle of water on a sweltering hot day; a welcome relief but by no means a solution to the problem.
Over the next few weeks we will be sharing works inspired by the drought. We hope you enjoy this series captured by our amazing artists and photographers all over the state and that it comes to mind as we all go about our daily routine.
Holly Zimbert | World Noise
My initial intention was to create an open arena for me to play off of- kind of see what came up. I Worked with colors I enjoy,- did some juicy brushstrokes with blue and started to think about water and the lack of it. That’s when some words started to come to mind, so I decided to make it a mixed media piece. There’s some gelly roll pen used for the writing and doodles and some glitter glue.
From afar (I think where most people place the drought in their minds) this piece doesn’t look serious. It looks playful and light. But when looked at closer and with seriousness (as the drought should be considered) it reads heavy, detailed and has depth.
words by Chelsea Duran | art by Holly Zimbert