Sunday, December 7, 2008

Mystery sculpture on Moncton's Highway 15


You may not even notice it as you're driving on highway 15 from Moncton, going east. At first glance it looks like a stand of dead trees.



If you're really observant, you can see orange tips, typical markers left in the woods, as you drive by in a matter of seconds. Strange though, they mark an awful lot of the trees. It doesn't look like the typical work of a lumberman...



You're right. It's not the work of a lumberman. Local artist, André Lapointe, was permitted to make use of the space for his sculpture. Curioser and curioser...
A lot of his works deal with the environment. He had this to say in the Virtual Museum of Canada about his work in general, and it offers some clues:
"My work has always been linked to the landscape, right from the start : shapes of nature, in landscapes. At the beginning I tried to reify the shapes of nature, transforming them into sculptures in a somewhat surrealist manner, I’d say. Later it developed into land art and nature art."
I had my own theory when I first saw it that the piece had to do with deforestation, and the possibility of removing every tree on the planet. I've since seen another piece of his work- a gynormous snowball the size of a car wedged in a tree. Very cool. With that context, and after reading the above, I don't think that's what he had in mind, but I feel like believing it anyway.
What do you prefer to see?

8 comments:

Jeane said...

shayla, I love this piece of art! - as far as what I prefer to see? - I usually see things as they are and am struck by the shape and color of the piece more then what it means - I'm attracted to the lines the trees make and the color of them and then the orange marks - I would love to see how it changes in the different light - I very seldom am attracted to a piece in the context of the meaning - that would come later for me after time.....thanks for sharing this - he is new to me.

Tracy said...

I like it! I like the different lines of cutting to the trees creating depth and texture. As for what I prefer to see, or what meaning...I'd have to see this for real I think. To see these photos the artistic elements are weighing in more. For a more emotive effect, up close and personal is more for me. But I like what's happening from an eye point of view, regardless of deeper, profound meaning behind it all. Very interesting, Shayla! Happy Week ((HUGS))

Jo said...

Shayla,
I live in a forest, and when a tree looks unstable, council workers mark them for removal, using paint and colours very similar to this.
My heart always skips 2 beats when I see these markings. Firstly, with the thought of the poor old tree being ear marked for removal (sad) and secondly for the brilliant bit of colour contrast I love so much (happy).

M.Kate said...

Hi there Shayla, how interesting...I wouldn't have thought as them as art, but they are just as beautiful. Hope you have a good week ahead :D

Robyn said...

I agree with you Shayla. Something to do with deforestation. I would like to see it front on.....unless this is the front.

Robyn said...

Ok, I've just seen from the front :-)

bindu said...

I thought of deforestation too. I've been reading Collapse by Jared Diamond, and his chapter about Easter Island talks about how that society vanished entirely mainly due to deforestation. So that was my first thought ...

Shayla said...

Jeane, thanks for mentioning the shape and color. Art doesn't always have to have a 'meaning.'

Tracy and Robyn, I wondered what it would be like up close too. I agree, the internet dulls the emotional impact, but if you were to visit :D, the highway's as close as I could get you in real life... There's a cliff to descend from the highway of crumbly rock and then a swampy area to cross. Only an especially determined and prepared hiker would prevail, heh, heh- not me ;)

Jo, I always cringe when a tree has to be cut down too. A friend of mine works in developing forest areas. He can tell by looking at the sun etc. which trees need to be thinned to allow the others to grow to make the healthiest forest. I find that kind of cutting to be really interesting.

Mary Kate, it's true. A lot of contemporary art is surprising that way.

Bindu, it's amazing how our experiences affect our understanding of art. That sounds like a fascinating book. I'll keep my eyes open for it.