Southern Community Park, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA, 2009
Elemental Landscape marks an 80-acre regional park with a series of art installations connected by their use of circular forms and salvaged site materials. Each piece is activated by a specific natural element. Carved stone markers at each piece name the element and link the installation to a contextual place expressing the same element.
The installations include Water, concentric stone rings at various elevations in a wetland bowl; Earth, a sculpted mound of soil; Air, an open ring of boulders enclosed by meadow grasses that dance in the wind; Fire, a ladder and colored acrylic referencing places where slaves once worshipped—secret congregations in the woods and church galleries accessed by ladders; Fauna, birdhouses built by students of the nearby Scroggs Elementary School mounted to the tops of red stained poles and marking a seasonal creek; Flora, woodland plants with different blooming times planted in concentric rings, then naturalizing so eventually the rings are indiscernible; Oak and Pine Datum, a ring of oak logs in a hardwood lowland and a ring of pine logs in a pine upland, of equal diameter, allowed to decay over time and thus manifesting their varied surroundings and longevity of wood.
Elemental Landscape was commissioned by the Chapel Hill Arts Commission.