Here in Austin, it’s no secret that we cherish our beloved green spaces, springs and swimming holes. Our water – the water in Lady Bird Lake, in the Greenbelt and especially our prized Barton Springs – is lovingly woven into the city’s cultural fabric as an emblem that makes us unique. But water’s exalted place in our hearts also earns it a spot as a top commodity and branding tool. What are the cultural ramifications when ecology intersects with the marketplace? What are the issues surrounding the mass romanticization and consumption of a finite resource? Houston-based artist Sasha Dela explores these questions and more in Let Love Flow, new video and sculpture installations that cleverly examine the things that we hold dear – and the complex issues surrounding the cultural, economic, and geographic landscape of Austin.
Within the sculpture I use everyday objects, ranging from water bottles to cars. More recently upon having spent three years in Houston, Texas, I have been provoked by the culture of cars and driving to make videos that document the vast commerce and infrastructure surrounding automobiles. Imagery of oil and water enter my work. As oil dominates the Texas economy, water is a quickly changing commodity yet to be priced according to its real value. I strive through my work to (re) establish the material connections of the lived world and physical reality we exist in.