Freshly planted flowers taking to new soil. (April 2020)
The past two summers I have created and installed work on a small patch of land in on the north shore of Massachusetts. When the lockdown was declared many opportunities I had went out the door. However, the governments mandate to confine oneself to a single location, “provided”, its own unique opportunity. I returned to the same spot of land with my dog Zulu, and my tools.
The size and proximity of this area is an accurate representation of Americas dwindling wetlands. Wet lands are an essential ecosystem that support plant and animal species and are integral to preserving biodiversity. They are also essential for combating many contemporary ecological issues caused by global warming such as coastal erosion. is small patch of land is slightly smaller than a football field, supports a thriving vernal pool and small swamp forest. In this small swath of forest native timbers, unique to the northeast, such as Red Pine, and American Hornbeam grow alongside endangered species such as Princess Pine, and Ipswich Pine. Rampant development of residential projects have severely reduced the footprint of the wetland. This in turn has caused immense stress on local plants and wildlife. The results this are an unhealthy wetland ecosystem failing to maintain itself.
Littered material collected from the area was reintroduced back into the location in the form if sculptures. The sculptures transcend any typically function of art as it becomes infrastructure that provides and sustains life. Much like a reef in the ocean my sculptures become its own micro ecosystem supporting many different classes of biological life. Near the top of the work squirrels build nest on the elevated shelves created by timber beams. Smaller pockets within the work become home to Cowbirds who lazily lay eggs in nests made by wrens. Closer to the ground rabbits and chipmunks den directly in the work, filling gaps and cracks to create isolated spaces. At the very bottom is the domain of frogs and salamanders who live and hunt in the tiny system of caves and crevasses created by the various pieces that form the sculptures base.