Email Carlos Zervigon

Phone: 504-442-2387

Glass Artist

Artist Statement

Summer 2005 (Pre-Katrina)

Growing up in New Orleans, I had very little exposure to the natural environment. The only “wilderness” I knew was the wooded areas of the batture along the Mississippi River. This was ironic because it was from the batture that I also saw some of the greatest views of industry in the United States. But somehow these two very different environments seemed to blend easily. Trees, woody vines and plants mingled well with rusty, massive chains, cables, cranks, cranes and barges. It is this juxtaposition of form and material that I seek to explore in much of my work.

But the batture is a no man’s land where the river is allowed to flood only then to be held back by the levee that often saves the city from catastrophic flooding. Those who are brave enough will build their houses on the batture, raised on piers to protect them from the rising tide of the river.

Across the southern part of the state, beyond the flood control structures along the grassy marshes, people also raise their houses and mobile homes high onto piers. But here nature is wining as the land disappears. One can see sinking gravesites and skeletons of once strong oaks. Industrial machinery sits rusted and sinking, evoking images of lost civilizations whose remains have been recaptured by the wilderness. Indeed it is a universal aspect of the human condition that we seek (with varying levels of success) to protect ourselves from the ravages of nature.