dimensions: 6' diameter 16' height
materials: douglas fir, stainless steel, poem by David Wagoner
site: Atrium, Undergraduate Classroom Building, WSU - Vancouver Campus
commissioned by: Washington State Arts Commission
Walking to the WSU Undergraduate Classroom Building you notice, through the window, what looks like wooden planks floating randomly in space. Entering the building and looking up you see that 39 planks are suspended over your head by a cable/spanner system reminiscent of old foot bridges or sailing vessels. Studying the planks you see figures carved into the faces. A bear, a tree, a salmon...you realize each plank represents some part of the natural community in which we live.
Moving clockwise around the sculpture, perpendicular to the entrance, you start to see words carved into the edges of the planks. Slivers of sentences, single words, seemingly no definite order. Continuing clockwise and moving to the back of the sculpture you see footprints and realize they reflect impressions made by the animals on the opposite face of the plank.
Finishing your circumnavigation, you see that the last plank face is blank. Without the carvings it becomes clear that coincident planks are related by texture and grain. Like a puzzle, you note that the planks could be reassembled to the original tree.
Still curious and interested in understanding the words you walk up the stairs and step to the balcony railing. From this level the words and sentences start to coalesce resolving into stanzas...you discover the words form a poem about being 'LOST' – in nature, in a forest, in yourself.
Photos by Laura Evancich
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