Meanwhile, the modern throwaway culture -- illustrated by the trash seen inside his sculptured fish -- inundates the word's rivers and oceans, Botkin said.
"My main goal is to start a dialogue between opposing viewpoints. I want to come across as non-hypocritical, because I realize we need all the stuff we have. But we need to consume it more responsibly. I hate single-use items like throwaway plastic wear and stuff like that. Every piece of plastic we throw away will be here, well, forever."
Of course, to make his point he had to use a little polystyrene to make his fish, a substance he notes which can be recycled.
"I did research how to make molds from actual fish. I decided I didn't want to kill fish to do that. I ordered copies of fish made by taxidermists. I made the molds from those copies. Basically, it's a third-hand copy from a real fish."
The fish types on display at Art Emporium are all kinds found in the Kanawha River. Inside the see-through fish is a host of trash -- a dental floss container, smashed cans, beer bottle tops, a condom, cigarette butts and more -- the whole host of detritus from modern life.
"Almost all the items are items I picked up either from riverbanks or just on the ground," he said.
Brown noted the way that the fish on the walls of the exhibit float through the exhibit and about his photos.
"We didn't want his works separate from mine. We wanted to visually give the viewer that sense of how water is, how it just flows everywhere. It's moving into that idea of water being a cyclical entity. And what happens to the fish is happening to us -- we just can't see it immediately.
The fact of the matter is, added Brown, "there's no life without water.
"We need to get serious about taking care of the water on this planet. We all live downstream. We all live downstream from something."
Reach Douglas Imbrogno at doug...@cnpapers.com or 304-348-3017.