Blackfoot Pathways: Sculpture in the Wild

BLACKFOOT PATHWAYS: SCULPTURE IN THE WILD

Casey Schachner

BPSW/University of Montana Emerging Artist

June/July 2017

Stringer by Casey Schachner

In designing a work that engages with the landscape and the community, I was drawn tothe idea of creating a structure from the locally harvested native varieties of pine. I specifically designed a model created with a series of ‘stringers’ or timber used for cross member support, but rather than supporting in the typical horizontal fashion of stringers in marine vessels, the stringers orientation would be vertical (see Fig. 2). Weaving the logs together so they form a self-supported matrix, a structure is formed. Utilizing steel cable and anchor systems at the top and bottom of the piece, the structure becomes balanced within itself. Activating the stringers in this nature, the core material of pine appears to provide most of its structural strength when in reality the accordion pattern of the pines creates a sort of exoskeleton. Within the core of the stringers, space and light begin to
interplay, these shadows created between the logs are reminiscent of how light interacts with elements of architecture and furthermore how light passes through dense woods Significant to this sculpture is its orientation to the sun and how the shadows evolve throughout the day, seasons, and year.

I am excited to propose a sculpture for Blackfoot Pathways: Sculpture in the Wild that addresses my interests in relational aesthetics and industrial materials in my own work. Thelocation combined with the large scale of the piece, allow visitors to walk through the structure and encounter the support of the framework from within. Much like a marine vessel, the piece functions as a thoroughfare or passageway in and to nature. When I visited the sculpture park in Lincoln earlier this month, it became obvious to me the intimacy each viewer could experience with the sculptures. Creating a corridor for viewers to transcend into nature will change their perceived environment. I believe Stringer would provide an opportunity to reflect on the heritage of the Blackfoot Valley, the balance
between industry and environment, and the mutually beneficial relationship between human and nature.