Construction has been underway for several months on my new monumental sculpture, Nave. This site-responsive piece will be part of Convergence, an exhibition of public sculptures co-sponsored by Boston Sculptors Gallery and The First Church of Christ, Scientist. The exhibition will be on view on the Christian Science Plaza in Boston Wednesday, May 1 to Thursday, October 31, 2013. For information about the other sculptures, the opening reception, the catalogue launch, and a series of talks and programs, go to the exhibition website: http://convergenceexhibit.blogspot.com/.
An older sculpture, Canyon, served as a model for my new piece. Canyon is only 15 inches tall, but I wanted the new piece tall enough so that a person standing in the space between the two structures would feel they were inside the sculpture; it was designed as 8 feet tall, 5 feet wide and 2 feet deep. The challenge was to scale up the structures and build for an outdoor, public venue.
Here on the Plaza, Project Manager Christopher Lenaerts, of Lenaerts Fine Woodworking, and Glenn Leonard, are scribing the bases for the two parts of the sculpture to stand level on the slightly sloping Plaza surface. The sculpture is aligned with the east-west arc of the sun to allow maximum light into the interiors and to align with the orientation of the Church of Christ, Scientist.
Back in the studio, the wooden infrastructure of the two pieces is being built according to plans drawn up by Lenaerts and Tris Metcalfe, principal of Metcalfe Associates, an architecture firm in Northampton, to withstand high winds and weather.
Mike Chermesino and Dave Grace lift one of the frameworks to standing for the first time. Below, the two structures face each other as they will on the Plaza, where they will stand six feet apart.
The simple geometry and concrete-like surfaces of the two structures reflect the architecture of the Plaza. We applied a mixture of gypsum and polymer to the outer surfaces to simulate concrete and made it black to enhance the monolithic quality. Mark Stein of the LandMark Company, conducted experiments to determine the final blend of the cover material, and then measured out each ingredient. Expert plasterers Jerry Sawma and Scott Wallace of Bear River Timber Frames applied the difficult material over the course of two intense days.