Grade, John. Bastion. Reclaimed oak, cherry, and Douglas fir wood. 2013-2014. 9.25 inches x 17.5 x 8 feet.
This two-part sculpture installation draws its inspiration from a contradictory combination of fluid cresting waves and rigid bulwarks designed to contain water. The sculptures are meant to gradually compress, split, and flake apart into the ground over an extended period of time with the additional intention of evincing wear from specific sites around the city. The form of the repeating fluted pieces is derived from a type of phytoplankton called coccolithophore. These microscopic organisms have elongated calcium shells in the shape of flutes and bloom in huge masses just below the surface of the sea.
The sculptures additionally draw inspiration from materials-the fixed durability and longevity of cast iron coupled with the impermanence and shorter lifespan of treated wood-and from process, the impact water and environmental factors will have on the sculptures over time. Both sculptures will eventually bear the patina of time and exposure, reflecting the role of chance and transformation in the environment.
Sections of the wood sculpture have been temporarily sited for up to three years at multiple sites throughout the city and state. Gradually the fragmented clusters will be returned and re-installed at the original site.
Courtesy of Regional Arts & Culture Council Percent for Art Program. © the Artist.
Artist Credit: John Grade
Exhibition: Regional Arts & Culture Council Percent for Art Program