River Wraith

Moreau Gallery, St. Mary’s College, Notre Dame, Indiana, 1997

Materials: eight nun's habits with rope and rosaries, galvanized wash basins with water, river stones, hemlock timber with water pump and water, Douglas fir wood with pine pitch and leather gloves, deer skeleton in cornmeal, coyote skeleton in soybeans, wooden pews, shelled corn, steel, concrete, and blue paint

River Wraith explores the history of St. Mary's College (Notre Dame, Indiana) and its establishment on the banks of the St. Joseph River, and the parallel between the sisters and the local ecosystem they inhabited.  Eight black habits and rosaries hang on the entrance walls; beneath each is a metal laundry basin, symbolizing the reason sisters were asked to come to Notre Dame from France. 

A large wooden cross, embedded with pinesap, hangs on the far wall.  In front of the cross, bisecting the center of the gallery, a line of water flows down a 20-foot long elm beam.  On either side of the beam are circular beds, one full of cornmeal and embedded with a coyote skeleton.  The second contains soybeans and is embedded with a deer skeleton.