Betsy Damon (American, b. 1940) The Memory of Clean Water, 1985 ©Betsy Damon. Courtesy of the artist.
Betsy Damon’s motivation for her large public projects, like Living Water Garden in Chengdu, China (1998), a six-acre city park created to educate and demonstrate how water can clean itself through the use of natural processes. The Memory of Clean Water (1985), a cast of a dry riverbed in Utah in paper pulp, memorializing a river before it was dammed, was her pivotal work. Damon, active in 1970s in New York as a performance artist, whose work was strongly influenced by spiritual feminism and healing rituals, devoted her subsequent practice to public space projects focused on decontaminating waters.