Shades of Some Distant Journey

Water Brought the Trees by Pam Ayres
Shades of Some Distant Journey (Boat Series)
Pamela Ayres
Materials: Natural Wood, cloth
Dimensions: 12’H x 5’W x 12’D
Installed: 2017

The piece is a reflection of a past work the artist did at Michigan Legacy Art Park titled When the Water Brought the Trees. The previous work was about the journey and migrations of nature and how people try to understand them and was inspired by the story of the mother bear and cubs from the Sleeping Bear Dunes legend. David Barr had commented that he appreciated its ephemeral and phantom-like presence.

“When I set about making this new slip form, I began to understand that it reflected the memory or ‘ghost’ of my past work. I have a book I carry around with me from place to place titled Ghost Ships of the Great Lakes by Dwight Boyer. In the forward he includes a poem by Lyle A. Meyers Sr. that I like to read, about lost boats of the Great Lakes called Phantom Ships that Pass in the Night. The imagery in this poem helped me visualize this work as a symbol of time passing and memories relived.

I assembled this temporal construction using what was readily available: fallen trees and even elements from past installations. The decision to paint the work was rooted in my desire to bring the lines away from the surroundings in the different seasons and at different times of the day. My vision was to see the lines in the ambiguous surroundings of the moonlight, the fog, and the winter, as well as being complemented by the foliage during the bright sunlight in the summer and fall months.

Water Brought the Trees by Pam Ayres

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