Emerge, Art in Action, New Orleans City Park, New Orleans, LA, 2007, cast paper, dimensions variable
This work is an environmental installation of a variety of cast paper “pods” into the landscape of a low-lying “wet” spot on the grounds of New Orleans’ City Park. “Emerge” is my attempt to seed something of potential growth for a landscape that was flooded and badly damaged during Hurricane Katrina.
These pods, many of them unfinished fragments, are part of an earlier body of work that was interrupted by the storm. The use of elements of a partially completed work connotes an interruption and cutting off of a work in progress, much the way so many lives were caught in a particular moment at the time of the storm and dropped elsewhere out of their usual and intended context. It is likely that, for a casual passerby, the distinction between “artistic” and “natural” phenomenon will blur -- the sculptural elements of the piece, made of cast plant fibers and inspired by objects found in nature like a gourd or seed pod, are placed in a way that could be a part of the life cycle of the plants in the area.
The decision to place them back into the environment was both a way to complete a work in a different way than originally intended and a metaphor for “letting go.” It is also hoped that this work, all composed of organic materials, will be transformed in the process, whether it is appropriated by birds or insects for nesting materials, absorbed back into the earth with the ebb and flow of the watery area where they have been placed, or perhaps even collected as a curiosity by a visitor to the park.