Poultney River Entrance
community sculpture project,
local slate, earth;
Green Mountain College,
Vermont, USA, 2008
The project was conceived as a participatory environmental sculpture event for the 2008 "Art of the Earth" convention on the campus of Green Mountain College, Poultney, Vermont. Poultney is situated in what is known as the "Slate Valley", abounding with working and abandoned slate quarries.
The chosen site for the project is situated at the bottom of Green Mountain College campus and borders on the Poultney River, where a foot-worn path leads to a popular swimming spot along the riverbank. The design of the sculpture utilizes a natural corridor in the strip of woodlands separating the compus from the river, and tries to articulate and frame the transition from the open meadow, through the woodlands towards the river.
Participants of the symposium were involved at every stage of the creation of the sculpture. Special thanks to Dan, Rudolf and Marcus!
The design consists of three curved walls, each one between 7 and 10 meters long and up to 1.20 meter high, backed by a sloping berm and shaping an undulating path between them. Using off-cuts from the waste heaps of one of the many quarries of the "Slate Valley", layers of varying colors and angles were built up, using the traditional dry-wall technique. Due to the changing angles of the layers, the wall seems to grow out of the earth and calls to mind patterns of rock layers in Nature.
The sculpture was inaugurated with a community ceremony which included an improvised performance of the clowning group which used the sculpture as a prop for their mischievious acts.