Clouds Filtered Through Trees

Installation (glass, steel, vinyl, hardware, rainwater, sapwood, signage), 2019. I harvested rainwater from the roof of The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, filtered it through a piece of pine wood, and offered it to the public, along with a text complicating the proposition of drinking it.

Created for the Exhibition Weather Report at The Aldrich.

“Weather Report’s artworks confront us with the insidious depth and extent of such climate entanglements. Nowhere is this dizzying interconnectedness more succinctly illustrated than in Colin McMullan’s “Clouds Filtered through Trees” (2019), which consists of an almost-seven-foot tall water cooler that resembles a laboratory beaker and dispenses rainwater captured from the museum’s roof and filtered through white pine tree sapwood. “NOTICE,” warns a text affixed to a nearby window, “RAINWATER MAY CONTAIN/ UNRECOGNIZABLE TRACES OF/ Ancestral indigenous land stewardship/ Tap water with elevated lead from municipal neglect/ Mercurial soot from coal fired power plants.” In both form and content, McMullan’s artistic water cooler serves, fittingly, as a conduit between earth and sky, human and non-human. Just as fitting, its tainted contents taste indistinguishable from all the other water we unthinkingly consume.”

-Louis Bury,