We nipped in just ahead of closing day to take a look at OUR BLUE PLANET: GLOBAL VISIONS OF WATER at the Seattle Art Museum. It was an interesting exhibit, although the connection of some of the works to water was sometimes tenuous.

Pacific Northwest tribes were well-represented. Beyond traditional art forms, there were materials both on video and in print about how water, and water rights, affect traditional lifestyles.

Some works needed no explanation.

Some did. This is an exploration of “blue”.

This somber work reminded us that water as a transport medium could be used for evil. This is a depiction of how stolen Africans were loaded like cargo for the journey to the New World.

Two examples of figureheads. The first is from a Solomon Islands canoe. Not sure about the vaguely disturbing mermaid.

A traditional Oriental screen. I love the way spray is represented by the dark forms.

You really need to see this Indian piece for yourself. The colors and textures are stunning as is the mixture of traditional and somewhat comic styles.

The sawfish is mostly fishing net, the bronze turtle is beautiful. It rests on the kind of rack used to cook and serve others of its kind.

Those who know me best know that I’m crazy about Aboriginal art. What a treat to find it so well represented in this exhibit!

Can you find the snake?
Hint: start at the top then work clockwise around the circle.

What first appear to be a pattern of lines like furrowed fields, are actually overlapping dots.

The preceding works could be called “classical” Aboriginal style. There were also some contemporary pieces. The first two are etched stainless steel.

This was the most unusual Aboriginal piece of all: fish whose scales form traditional tribal designs in a pond shadowed by trees as night begins to fall. As beautiful as it is unexpected.

OK, I had to cheat. I’ve always loved this piece. It’s called Caterpillar Suit. It has nothing at all to do with water.


  1. Thank you so much, Steve. Your photos are beautiful and your explanations are very helpful, indeed.
    Loved it!

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