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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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FLOOD of inspiration

Mary+Ciani
Photo by By Wesley Holmes
Mary Ciani

Structures, crested rivers, utter destruction — these are all images former Texas A&M professor Mary Ciani showcases in her project of a year and a half, FLOOD.

Drawing on inspiration from scenic water views in San Francisco, Ciani developed a series of illustrations all around the theme of water.

“I looked out towards the bay and straight ahead was the city of San Francisco with its white towers rising above the fog and the Golden Gate bridge and all the other bridges, with round hills between them all surrounding the water,” Ciani said. “I had this lurch of the heart, and I decided, ‘I’m going to draw water.’”

Ciani said her drawings portray natural disasters relating to water as well as the message that these events are the effects of global warming.

“A lot of times when artists deal with sensitive political issues or potentially explosive political issues, they have a tendency to be a bit heavy-handed and sort of ‘in-your-face’ with those works,” said assistant professor of architecture Stephen Caffey. “[FLOOD] deals with a very important issue that affects all of us, but is in no way dogmatic or confrontational.” 

If the themes of the destruction of global warming seem subliminal, it’s possibly because Ciani said she originally had not intended for the illustrations to follow a timeline.

“I didn’t know what I’d done until it was finished,” Ciani said. “[The drawings] were [for the most part done] in a happy mood, but if I had heard on the radio that there had

been a mud slide in California, I’d draw a mud slide. If I heard that there was a terrible storm somewhere, I’d draw a terrible storm. I had no theory of what I was doing.”

Ciani said these are effects of global warming and advocates for causes that strive to reverse them.

“We would take what has been dormant, been hidden in the earth, for millions of years,” Ciani said. “As a result of doing that we got electricity, we got labor-saving devices, we got transportation, we got this new modern civilization. But the CO2 can only go into two places, the air and the ocean, and they stay there for a very long time. We have to stop.”

Ciani said she found pens that produce calligraphic looking lines worked best for her artistic image. She also decided to stick to black and white for a more stripped down look.

“[She has done] digital paintings, oil paintings, pretty much anything,” said environmental design professor Rodney Hill. “She’s not confined to a genre. If you saw one of her works of art you might not recognize she [was the artist].”

The FLOOD exhibit is open all weekdays in the Wright Gallery inside Langford Building A at 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. until Oct. 19. Ciani will be in the gallery Saturdays from 12 p.m. – 5 p.m. Fl

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