Drone Perception of Land Art

Reuben Wu Sculpture

Reuben Wu’s Planetary Observers

Margaret Dreikausen, in her book Aerial Perception: The Earth as Seen from Aircraft and Spacecraft and Its Influence on Contemporary Art, notes the difference between two different views of the ground from the air. There is the vertical angle, or directly above, as we perceive the ground from a high-altitude aircraft or see the earth from the satellite perspective of Google Maps. And then there is the oblique angle, seen from lower altitude aircraft, looking outward over the landscape. According to Dreikausen, “the oblique angle gives a sense of wide-open space and is perceived in terms of aerial perspective involving the gradients of color and texture.” The oblique angle accentuates perspective, the three-dimensional shape of buildings, and the topography of the earth. Dreikausen traces how the oblique was first theorized in art as far back as Leonardo Da Vinci, who wrote about the way the views through the atmosphere change color and light, and the way perspective is shaped by far-off distance. She also notes the use of similar techniques in the paintings of Yvonne Jacquette and Susan Crile in more contemporary times. Continue reading

Sculpture at Scenic World 2017 Call for submissions


Louis Pratt, Wonder, 2016. Photo by Keith Maxwell

Sculpture at Scenic World has opened the call for submissions for its 2017 exhibition. It is the most important prize in Australia for an outdoor artwork that in the 2016 edition has been increased up to 20,000 AUD. Located 100 kms from Sydney, the idyllic village of Katoomba is the main destination for all who want to admire the breathtaking views of the rock formation called The Three Sisters in the heart of the Blue Mountains National Park. Scenic World, one of the oldest tourism business in New South Wales, is owned by the Hammon Family – now in their third generation, and siblings Anthea and David have brought fresh air to the company; in the last few years they have been committed to providing a extensive experience to the visitor and, at the same time, contributing to the already vibrant art scene of Katoomba. That’s why five years ago they launched the first exhibition with 26 sculptures and installations in the area of a lush rainforest. Continue reading

In the Studio Susan Leibovitz Steinman

Susan Leibovitz Steinman Sculpture

“River Hopes & Dreams” by Susan Leibovitz Steinman. Photo by the artist,
© SL Steinman from http://www.SteinmanStudio.com.

Susan Leibovitz Steinman creates sculpture out of many different re-purposed materials: ladders, bicycles, shopping carts, and tires. Another material she uses that we consider renewable rather than re-purposed, is living plants. Between recycled material and growing plant life is the continuum of permaculture: an inspiration and method within Steinman’s work. I asked her a few questions about how she considers the balance of these themes. Continue reading

Outlier: Richard Serra’s Shift

Shift Sculpture

Photo by Jason Paris from Toronto, Canada (Richard Serra’s “Shift” (1970) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.

I travel bi-weekly from my home in southeastern Ontario on the northern shore of Lake Ontario up to the city of Barrie, about an hour north of Toronto, to visit my ailing mother. So as to avoid driving into and then out of the urban sprawl and congestion of Toronto, I take a series of secondary and county roads that eventually get me to where I’m going. If my little village, Toronto, and Barrie comprise the three apex points of a triangle, I essentially drive the hypotenuse. Continue reading

Designing Living Sculpture: an interview with environmental artists Daniel McCormick and Mary O’Brien

Daniel McCormick and Mary O’Brien Sculpture

Mississippi River Delta installation. Photo by Mary O’Brien, Watershed Sculpture. Image courtesy of the artists.

Daniel McCormick and Mary O’Brien create living sculptures, responding to complex environmental systems like watersheds and riparian lands, their work is produced from natural materials that not only match the aesthetics, but the ecological patterns of the location. While the beauty of their works are readily apparent— simultaneously standing out and fitting within the aesthetics of their site in a literal weave of saplings, grasses, and wood— the process by which the art is designed for the space is only visible in the natural harmony of the installation. So I interviewed McCormick and O’Brien over email, in order to gain a better understanding of their process over time, both prior and after installation. Continue reading

New York Earth Room

Earth Room Sculpture

Image by snarlingbunny at pixabay.com

“It’s just a room full of dirt,” says a man coming down the stairs as we go up to the second floor of a non-descript building at 141 Wooster Street. Good–then it’s still there. As if Walter De Maria’s The New York Earth Room would suddenly be gone, after existing inside this SoHo apartment space since 1977.

I try to go to the The New York Earth Room every time I’m in New York City, and bring along whomever will come with me. “Just a room full of dirt” is not the easiest sell in a city full of art, but it is also free, and that often turns people around. Additionally, explaining that there has been an apartment in SoHo knee-deep in dirt for nearly forty years often tips the curiosity factor. I tell people if they haven’t been, they should at least see it. Continue reading

Million-Acre Farm: The Sculpture of Gerald Beaulieu

Gerald Beaulieu Sculpture

Field, 2009.

Canada has two provinces which are islands unto themselves. Newfoundland, the larger, directly confronts the North Atlantic, but the smaller, Prince Edward Island (PEI), is in a somewhat more sheltered locale along the north shore of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. Its location, and its famous rich, red soil, made it ideal for farming, earning it the nickname the “million-acre farm.” PEI became the equivalent of Idaho in terms of the celebrated, near-mythic status its potatoes have achieved (so naturally, there are even songs about it). Continue reading