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Shifting Fences

Environmental sculpture

oak poles, hazelnut branches, manila rope


"Binnenart", International Environmental Sculpture Symposium, Kevelaer, Germany, 2000

This project was one of 12 projects created by artists for the "Binnenart" International Environmental Sculpture Symposium in Kevelaer, Germany. The site is a low-lying meadow in north-western Germany, bordered by a stream which frequently floods the meadow in winter.

Binnenart - place 1.jpg

The artist chose to create a sculpture made of walls or fences, woven of hazelnut branches, which are available in abundance locally. The design consists of five walls of various dimensions, which are shaped like waves and which between them create spaces which the visitor is encouraged to walk through. The walls are partly open, allowing frequent vistas from inside out. The overall composition suggests a ship-like vessel.

Binnenart - model 2.jpg
Binnenart - sketch2 - sepia.jpg
Binnenart - Process 3.jpg
Binnenart - process 4.jpg
Binnenart Tree 1.jpg

"Like waves the shifting fences are rolling over the meadow, harmonically arising from out of the green-brown shades of the ground, their dynamic movement as it were breaking on the shore. The light colors of manila rope accentuates the movement of the sculpture as foam would the rolling waves. When in autumn veils of fog are wafting over the meadow, the shifting fences seem to glide like boats through white nothingness.


Here blocking the view, there guiding the view and and then again opening vistas outside the Shifting Fences invite the visitor to stroll through the spaces created between them and capture him within their own aura. The fences stand to each other like the wickerwork of a prehistoric settlement, defining spaces between them which envelop the visitor in their protective sphere. Nevertheless the enclosure never takes on a threatening dimension, as the fabric of the high shifting fences leaves windows, which allow the view to wander outside. Skillfully the artist relates to the visual axii of the landscape , guides the view into the surrounding meadow, frames a singular tree in one of the vistas or refers the visitor into one of the other spaces framed by the wall elements.


Not only the organically conceived form, but also the materials integrate into the surrounding nature. Oak poles and hazelnut twigs are the materials taken from the very place, into which the artist forms with their help his sculpture, which turns out to belong it as though those Shifting Fences had been standing there from the beginning of times."


(quoted from Matthias Grass "when a meadow became a different kind of meadow", catalogue of the symposium).


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