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Art Show: Underground

EMPTY CANAL, YARDLEY, PA

by Diana Mae Potts

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Art: EMPTY CANAL, YARDLEY, PA by Artist Diana Mae Potts
This was drawn on the fly right after the Yardley June Flood of 2006. Something drew me there tonight. The locks of the canal in Yardley had been a subject of study for me artistically in recent weeks and I had taken a couple of trips to draw them. Tonight, I parked my car in the Mill parking lot and went behind to see what there is to see. I found the canal emptied out with the lock open to let the water flow out so as to help the process of the flood waters to recede. What you see here is a the underground side of the canal with a trap door that has water rushing out from the bottom of the canal. The lock above, which is shown in the detail picture just before the main one was done, has a gear which lifts the trap door up and the water rushes out. The white area on the sides is the cement walls of the canal. The black under the door is the space betwen the door and water flowing under it. The black to the right is the edge of the cement wall. The beams up top are the supports for the lock above ground. In the foreground are branches strewn and clumped together from the flood. This drawing was done in a rush right at dusk. It's a very rough sketch, but it seemed to be the only moment to do it as I don't wish for future flooding in this lovely town. I show it for those people who have an interest in historical artifacts of the canal system that runs through New Jersey and Pennsylvania which is quite extensive with much history. It also depicts some background info on flood management for Yardley, PA. This picture is frozen in time. The quick strokes show the immediacy of action as a reflection of the stressful time of the flood while work is being done by authorities along with me not having the time to get the drawing done by dark. In the rush of drawing this the gear is missing from the second picture. Also the canal is very old and rectangular stone work can be seen which would be behind cement if it had stayed intact. I hope the oldness of the canal is shown along with the mysteries of what happens underneath the surface and below ground of an American structural artifact that still has it's uses in modern times.

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