Thursday, November 05, 2009
Shrines and Reliquaries
This is a picture of the piece I did for the Shrines and Reliquaries show at the Arts Center in Corvallis. This piece has a stump sculpted from polymer and painted then mounted on a base that uses techniques common in architectural or scale-railroad models. I used metal leaf gilding on the frame of the painting. There is a topo map lining the inside of the box. There are sewn cloth banners on the doors. I made the box from fir and it has a handle made of nylon rope and stitched leather.
I titled it Logger Priest's Portable Shrine. The idea comes from having heard of loggers who believe and feel that trees have a living spirit as we do ourselves. Each time a tree is cut the spirit is honored for its sacrifice. My contribution to the Shrines and Reliquaries show honors the spiritual connection of loggers to the forest. Borrowing the visual language of shrines in Christian art combined with the utilitarian tools of the logger I have created my own vision of a shrine that focuses the spirit of reverence for the forest. I am very sensitive to the environmental movement and feel a strain in the natural polarization of opinion on the subject. I see the concept of the tree harvester as priest a powerful Utopian notion. The weight of the sacrifice is carried by the one performing the sacrifice. And so entrusted by society to the sacred duty of providing wood while protecting the forest.