"The map is not the territory." - Alfred Korzybski
The source of my art has always come from nature and the landscape. The changes and cycles nature goes through are part of my focus in making art.
These are my latest sculptures. They are constructed from pine wood and willow. The pine wood was collected from the marshes of the Eastern Shore of Maryland. In the winter the marsh is burned to promote new growth in the spring.
Burning allows for healthy growth and increases plant diversity. It increases wildlife habitat and promotes an environment for rare and threatened plant species. It also helps to control hazardous buildup of fuel. The controlled marsh fires are important to the conservation of birds and wildlife.
What attracts me to this wood is the visual record that remains. The twists and shapes that were produced when the tree was growing in the marsh. The black charring from the fire and the bleached quality produced by the sunlight as it lies on the ground act as a catalyst for ideas for the sculpture.
Collecting the materials enables me to be out in nature and this process directly contributes to my desire to make art.
I drill arbitrary holes in the pine wood and use the willow as dowels to construct a scaffolding which creates another visual element.
There is an aspect of randomness that has infiltrated my working process as my art evolves. I can not make sketches of what the finished piece will look like because as I work the piece continually changes in unforseeable ways. Included in my primary influences are the visual presence of the wood I am working with and the effect of gravity, the physical act of having the piece stand.
The delicate balance in constructing the sculpture takes on a life of its own and helps determine the final visual effects. It is this unpredictability in the process that draws me in and keeps me working.
This process which begins when I am out in the landscape allows me an intimacy with the natural world which helps me feel connected to the very thing that makes my existence possible. My art is essentially about a process of transformation and an evolution of materials.
These are five of my latest pieces, with a couple views of each sculpture.