Lake Merced

San Francisco Bay Area Community Art

lake merced project - images

This work uses methods of abstraction, deconstruction, reconfiguration and unification as a way of understanding adaptation and resilience in the natural environment at Lake Merced; the largest freshwater lake on the North American west coast that birds that travel along the Pacific Flyway depend on while on their journey. I was fascinated by the riparian habitat at Lake Merced. By definition, a riparian habitat is uninhabitable place for humans that is the space between the water and the land yet it is biologically called the ribbon of life.  I began to create charcoal drawings of this place. Through this process I learned more about the landscape. This was the beginning of the Lake Merced works. To view a light box gallery of the images click on the image above and follow the next or previous tabs.

entangled - imagebark monoprint 2 - imagebark monoprint 1 - imagebark graphite - image

Gaul created Entangled, the first floral image print shown above, as a way of bringing attention to the inter-connectedness of “non-native” and “native” species of plants within riparian zones. A riparian zone although not habitable by humans, but is a complex ecosystem for plant and animal life. This is the place where she discovered a biological system’s ways of adaptation.


A Gaul Culley displayed this statement with the exhibit, “Lake Merced is a place of refuge for migratory birds whose journey has no end. The lake offers fresh water for the shorebirds to cleanse  the saltwater from their bodies  and provides riparian zones for nesting birds to raise their young safely. It quietly protects these creatures while sitting amongst the urban dwellings of thousands and thousands of men and women.  It is a lake with many hidden wonders, just ask the heron and the cormorant.”

merced cardinals - image

To view details of The Cardinal Points, please click on the image of all the points, shown below and follow the post links to view Detail 1 and Detail 2.


lake merced cadinal points - images