voegtly spring

For this project, I spent some time with the Voegtly Spring or also known as the Spring on Spring Hill while also paying homage to it. It is the only functioning natural spring in Pittsburgh as the other two natural springs in Shadyside and Schenley had been plumbed down. With this, I began thinking about general water history in Pittsburgh. As of now, I know that these natural springs were crucial in the 1900s for saving lives as contaminated water started to become noticeable via discoloration, bacteria in mineral deposits and typhoid. This history has easily been forgotten and unappreciated but the community of Spring Hill fought for the preservation of the last natural spring of this city so that its contribution to public health was not to be forgotten.

The water flowing from the top of Spring Hill and down can never flow back up and return to where it came from. It will and can never work the other way around naturally. The same idea works with time. As time passes the human race advances exponentially. With progress, we tend to only think about what we have gained and benefitted from it. However, what about the things we’ve lost? The ruins of progress? The deterioration of the things we once had?

I filled the spring with ice cubes and the icicles that surrounded the springs already. Ice can mean the opposite of “fresh, LIVING” water, an absence of love, the line between the conscious and unconscious. Seeing ice in your dreams can mean that there is danger ahead in your life which brought me back to thinking about the idea of how the future and its progress only mean new problems.

I wanted to use a clear, material that would disappear harmlessly into the earth with time. The reason I want this sculpture to be clear is that I wanted to highlight the idea that the powerful, beautiful history behind a natural spring, like the Voegtly Spring, instead of masking it. It should never be forgotten, yet it is inevitable to be forgotten or underappreciated as it becomes more and more uncommon to use on a daily basis.

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