Blackfoot Pathways: Sculpture in the Wild


One of the first things to hit me about the sculpture park was the openness of the sky.  The Ponderosa pines kept taking my eyes skyward as I walked the trails.  The sculptures would ground me, but the sky kept calling to me.

On the first day we walked past that huge log that was just laying there.  Forty years of woodworking can be very hard to override when one is confronted with a log of such grandeur. But how to do a log of such raw beauty justice?  That was the question.  Along with the overriding question of who and what had this area been witness to over the ages?

This seems to be an especially vexing time in America. The divisiveness of our age is daily front page news.    The enveloping beauty of the park  makes it an all-inclusive space.  I thought that visitors would enjoy a place to sit and take in the scene.  Subtly, I wanted to have them think about the divisiveness we perpetrate on each other on a daily basis. The original plan was to have all seats diametrically opposed to reflect conflicting -opinions. That was until I heard Beth Korth’s story.  She was the other artist working at the same time as myself at Sculpture in the Wild. She  told me how she met her husband at the park and fell in love with him. They subsequently married amid the sculptures. That reminded me of how love will always win out in the end, or so I want to believe.  I included the love seat as part of the bench to reflect Beth’s story. The other seats are more individual for personal sitting and reflection.

Along with the bench for the weary humans I wanted to make resting places for the birds; those time traveling avatars who come to remind us, flying over our heads and around our psyche,  just how temporary and transient our time on this planet really is. They serve to connect us with the origins of life on our planet. Their eggs, which are easily cracked and destroyed, remind us of the extreme fragility of our world.  The tear shaped houses I created are meant as an interspecies peace offering but also as a reflection on the sorrows and the fragility of life itself.

​A Conversation with Nature (2021)

Michael Brolly  (USA)

Artist in Residence 2021

​Materials: Ponderosa pine log, wood laminate, wire 
Dimensions: variable