Memory and Transformation
Tuesday, January 8–February 6, 2013
Elegy for Clint: Homage to Motherwell
2010, chain sawed black oak, 6’L x 3’H x 14” deep
The title and theme for my exhibit, MEMORY AND TRANSFORMATION, stems from my discovery and working on a 20 ft. section of an old hollow black oak tree trunk, about 4ft. in diameter. I divided the hollow trunk into three 6 ft. segments each of which I split vertically so that each segment was opened up
into a triptych, resulting in three open books revealing the old tree’s inner life and history. The footprint for each 6 ft. high section is 7 ft. W and 3 ft. D. The inner, concave surfaces or the outer, convex bark surfaces were transformed in various ways to suggest new, strange growth and life in a tree that refuses to die. A person can actually walk into the inner space of the tree and imagine the force and struggle of living, dying and regeneration into another form. For this show I will arrange the three triptychs in a henge, or circular formation, so that the viewer will be reminded of myth and ancient ritual while being further immersed in the tree.
In addition to the henge there will be a wall installation of three separate sculptures linked thematically as memorials for a dead friend. They are also linked together by their material substance. They are carved from the old, very large black oak tree belonging to my dead friend, a tree that was taken down not long after his death. The individual sculptures themselves are large, the two horizontally arranged pieces up to 6 feet wide and 4 to 5 feet high and the vertically disposed piece 8 feet in height. All of the works jut out from the wall about 18 inches. The segments of the horizontal pieces are cleated directly to the wall so they appear to be growing from the wall. One piece, The Elegy, is also an homage to Robert Motherwell, the painter, whose well known series of paintings, Elegies to the Spanish Republic, had always appeared to me as potentially sculptural objects.