Arbor Vitae : Scrapyard Abstract No. 5

Arbor Vitae: Scrapyard Abstract No. 5, 2005
Recycled steel
39.5″ H x 27.5″ W x 13″ D
Collection of the Artist

Arbor Vitae reminds me of music in some ways, referencing both notes on a page and sort of twining piano keys. It also makes me think of a storm, or vortex, or swirling smoke. But the breakthrough idea came when I saw it as a sheltering tree, and that sort of pointed me in another direction.

Some of the things I like best in sculpture are interactivity, movement, change, collaboration: It occurred to me that it would be really interesting to incorporate an element that could change over time and could be added by the owner or viewer of the sculpture. So I added a piece to the base which makes it kind of a vase for dried plants. If someone wanted to be able to use live plants or cut flowers which need water, the inside of the vase could be sealed.

What I love best is the way plants or flowers interact and weave through the body of the sculpture, changing and filling out the form. I especially like the contrast between the hard industrial substance of the steel and the softer, more organic matter of the plant.

Arbor Vitae displays best on a table or pedestal.