Ditched | Society’s health and wealth might be judged not by the magnificence and abundance of its creations but by its regard for the environment and the discards of its citizens. Until we value that which we discard, it could be said that we are rich beyond measure.
"Ditched" explores the implications of our throwaway society through the examination of debris meticulously collected for one year during the drought of 2014 to 2015 from the shoreline of Eagle Mountain Lake, near Fort Worth, TX. Following in the footsteps of the archeologist, Augustus Rivers, who first insisted that all artifacts, not the just the beautiful or unique be collected and catalogued, I photographed every item found along one mile of newly exposed lakefront. These artifacts speak to me; I seek to understand them and account for each of them.
With the abundant runoff of the Spring 2015 flooding, and subsequent barrage of debris filling my immediate landscape, I began to realize the migratory nature of trash in our waterways flowing from our drainage ditches and roadways. Eagle Mountain Lake, while only 14 square miles in size, is fed by a watershed of over 850 square miles.
Unlike the trash entering our oceans, this debris is trapped inland, restrained by lakes and dams. Individually, the collages reveal the variety, quantity and rate of disintegration of the materials contained in the lakefront. Collectively, they speak to our careless abandonment post gratification. Either by accidental or intentional action, we are being inundated on a massive scale by the individual fingerprints of personal choice. www.beckywilkesphotography.com