Blackfoot Pathways: Sculpture in the Wild


Clearing (2019)

Alison Stigora (USA)

Charred wood from Montana wildfires and Blue Pine

13' x 16' x 16'

 The common definition of clearing is "an open space in a forest, especially one cleared for cultivation". In Montana, wildfires are part of a seasonal rhythm. I am amazed at the resilience of both land and people who endure such destructive forces. The charred pines in forests surrounding Lincoln bear witness to devastation; at the same time, wildfires clear the woods and provide for new growth. Destruction and creation live side by side.    


I wanted to create a contemplative space for visitors and invite them to pause in the midst of the woods. The title "Clearing" can refer not only to the physical landscape but also a mental, spiritual, emotional landscape. A meditative space provides opportunity to clear your thoughts as you move from the outside of the piece to the inside. There is a strong contrast between the heavy, imposing exterior and the open, light interior. Clearing is a place to enter “the process of becoming clear” by quieting your thoughts and grounding your physical body in the landscape.


Alison Stigora is a site-specific artist specializing in sculpture and installation. Her work explores the relationship between humans and their environment and the intersection of sculpture and architecture. Stigora is an alumna of the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and has completed projects for Arte Sella Sculpture Park in northern Italy, the Philadelphia International Airport, the Mojave Desert in California and Nes Artist Residency in Iceland.