Sculpture: Time Capsule
Artist: Chris Drury
My work seeks to make connections between different phenomena in the world, specifically between:
- Nature and Culture
- Inner and Outer
- Microcosm and Macrocosm
All of my works over the past 25 years have been concerned with these connections. This is what unites the whole body of work. I do not have a particular style, nor do I prefer one material or process over another, rather I will seek the most appropriate means and material to find, and make explicit, those connections.
To this end I collaborate with scientists and technicians from a broad spectrum of disciplines and technology. This may mean that one exhibition or work outside may look very different to another. Each work starts from zero and breaks new ground. Its starting point is the place and/or the situation. My work therefore is a continuing dialogue with the world, exploring our place in the universe.
For more information or to contact Chris. Drury, visit his website at www.chrisdrury.co.uk.
Chris Drury, 2002
The South Carolina Botanical Garden is semi-wild and beautiful. What struck me about the works in the Garden's Nature-Based Sculpture program was the process of growth and decay. With some works there was a sense of loss in the decay. With others, time seemed to make them more beautiful, more "bedded in".
I decided, therefore, to use this process in a sculpture, to work in both decay and growth. I wanted to use woven sticks, some of which would live and grow and others that would die and decay.
There are three elements to the work: rammed earth, which will slowly erode in time; woven cut sticks; and living trees--beech, river birch and serviceberry.
The work is sited on the very borders of indigenous woodland and introduced species. Although it uses native trees, it sits in the gap between a clump of long-leafed pine and dense, native, new-growth woodland. It comprises two woven domes with a rammed earth monolith in the center of each. In the plan, they form a figure eight or infinity sign. In the smaller dome, the monolith is constructed with living river birch trees integrated into a woven stick basket into which a 5:1 clay-cement mix is rammed. The living trees are tied together at the top where they will graft and grow up and around the rammed earth as one tree, slowly enclosing and engulfing the monolith as the weaving decays.
The larger dome is the same, but taller, and has four beech trees around it. These trees can live up to 250 years. The outer domes are constructed of woven sticks; each down stick has a serviceberry sapling planted with it, approximately 70 altogether. Where each crosses they are grafted together, so in time the entire figure eight will be one tree. As the cut sticks decay these trees will live and take their places. They will be pruned to two meters and will grow on and outwards from their tops.
On entering the domes, it is impossible for the viewer to walk in a straight line through the work. The monoliths force one to move in semicircles, thus walking the figure eight, experiencing the different qualities of each dome and back again. In fifty years' time, as the trees grow, this will be quite a restricted, dark, mysterious and very different space in comparison to what it is now. In two hundred years, the beeches will have dwarfed everything. All that may remain of the original work will likely be some red clay within the cavity of the giant beech tree.