Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Growing the Sculpture Garden: Art as a Cognitive Place-Holder

It's been a few weeks since I wrote, thanks primarily to end-of-semester involvements. One of the big things I had to take care of was to clear my sculptures out of the ceramics lab. Having brought them safely home it's time to enjoy the sculptures in the context of the greening garden.

Garden Forms

Some of the older sculptures were placed in the garden during the winter. Now as plants grow up around them the landscape is changed radically. The sculptures are still in the same spot but their context, their setting, and in a way their purpose has changed. At one and the same time they are floating above the greenery or lie embedded within it. Whatever they are "doing" they are now part of the natural surroundings.

Two Views

Lilies to the Knuckles

This is a wonderful opportunity to think about how art can be a sort of cognitive place-holder. As a focus of our visual world, it can help us, like any other landmark, consider our place physically, mentally, even spiritually in the environment. Sculptural pieces in an ever-changing garden provide us with a profound spatial and temporal focal point. All the better to appreciate our world.


Wrestlers Buried in Roses

I've long been a proponent of the garden as a sort of built environment. But it's not all our doing. We partner with nature to create a setting, whether tame or unruly (I like unruly the best), that "places" us, literally, in a locus of light, aroma, moisture, and sound.

At Rest in the Garden

In the city that sound is too often the rumble of a truck, the yapping of a frustrated dog, or the pervasive buzz of an air conditioner. But in those rare moments when we can wrap our head around a haze of peace and quiet, art and nature conspire to bring a bit of heaven into our life.

Garden Arch

1 comment:

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