Michigan Legacy Art Park is home to a new environmental sculpture by Pamela Ayres. Created over the course of the summer, Ayres was inspired by the Art Park's mission and the Legend of the Sleeping Bear. Ayres wistfully described her inspiration for her newest work by saying "the symbol of a boat giving passage to trees with the aid of the water and the air currents is an amiable and romantic myth in my mind. This body of work is a reinterpretation of water and air shaping land." The work includes a collection of sketches displayed at Discovery Grove, an outdoor gallery for two demensional works, and a site-specific installation.
The project involved naturally felled branches and broken young trees found in the Art Park. Ayres shaved off the bark to expose the smooth wood underneath. The sculpture is in the shape of a boat with branches protruding through the structure so that it hovers above the ground at about eye level. The artist used simple building materials and methods to put the work together such as latching with wire and then covering the heavy wire with natural fibered rope.
The sketches show bared trunks and roots that have been eroded of land and appear to be free to travel. The trunks and branches of the trees in the boat are like masts that aided in propelling the vessel through the past to something new. In contemplation of the installation, observers may consider some of the own narratives about the journey of the trees to Michigan.
The intention of this project is to create a number of these boats in varied locations around the world to promote the relationship between art, the environment and education.
Ayres is a featured artist at the Art Park this season in conjunction with Celebrating Women
, an exhibition at the Dennos Museum Center in Traverse City.
Pamela Ayres received her BFA from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and her MFA from Long Island University. Ayres previously served as gallery director at Central Michigan University, director of University Galleries at Bradley University and curatorial director at the University of Bridgeport.
View photos of The Water Brought the Trees.