artist statement: sentinels of the moraine

Sentinels of the Moraine (Waterloo, Ontario)

1. sentinel, noun
a soldier or guard whose job is to stand and keep watch.
-figurative something that appears to be standing guard or keeping watch
-Medicine a thing that acts as an indicator of the presence of disease

2. moraine, noun Geology
a mass of rocks and sediment carried down and deposited by a glacier, typically as ridges at its edges or extremity.

Source: Apple Pages Dictionary

Sentinels of the Moraine
While wandering through a forest-covered section of the Waterloo Moraine, I found myself captivated by its serenity and beauty. Many trees covered the landscape, but I was drawn to the larger ones. Those trees, the ones that had lived there the longest, appeared to be standing guard over the forest and keeping watch, and I came to think of them as sentinels. The second definition of sentinel also applies. Those older trees are indicators, their state of health signalling the overall degree of well-being of the moraine ecosystem. With these two definite roles in mind I photographed the sentinel trees, treating them as individuals - each with their own shape, form, character and personality - and produced this collection of photographs entitled Sentinels of the Moraine.

The Waterloo Moraine, 400 square kilometres of glacial deposit, is located almost entirely within the Region of Waterloo. Its eastern portion lies inside the boundaries of the cities of Kitchener and Waterloo and the remainder is in Wilmot Township. The moraine plays a major role in recharging the local and regional groundwater systems and provides the majority of the water supply for the cities of Kitchener and Waterloo. Located centrally in the Grand River watershed, it also provides water to maintain wetlands and a base flow to the Grand River. Ecologically, the health of the Waterloo Moraine is critical to the well-being of the Region of Waterloo.

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