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Wet Lab was an experimental, invitation-only, use of the gallery space and grounds at The Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education in Philadelphia, PA.  All artists asked to participate were engaging with the subject of water in some capacity.  
For a lot of artists, myself included, success has more to do with time than anything else. Having enough time to make work - for me, having enough time to make mistakes and grow from them, is what drives every other endeavor and can be what makes or breaks the spirit. 

So to be given the gift of time at SCEE was like a jewel within a jewel that emits light at every angle - a non-objective based chunk of creative time, immersed in a woodland setting.  Wet Lab was consciously, and generously, set up as an open-ended concept and as a result of this became a breath of fresh air in my artistic practice. I used the time to make pieces for a current body of work that deals with wave and water imagery.  I soaked cedar of various lengths and thicknesses in Spring Mill Pond for different lengths of time, and then brought the wood up to the gallery/workspace to bend and clamp it around forms where they would dry into the curves of those forms. Or break.  Either way, the experience was useful. These are some images of my process and the first steps in what will be finished pieces for the body of work entitled: i kept your sea (i kept it safe).

all images © carolyn hesse 
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