I celebrated this year’s equinox installing Here Stands, with friend and collaborator Holly Wren Spaulding. Throughout the long days of walking and hanging abaca fiber paper words, I kept thinking of the English artist Hamish Fulton, an artist whose work I have followed and admired for many years. One of the opening text pieces on his website kept going through my mind as Holly and I walked, stopped, embraced a tree while wrapping it with a word, consulted, admired and stood still.
- A WALK HAS A LIFE OF ITS OWN
- AND DOES NOT NEED TO BE
- MATERIALIZED INTO AN ARTWORK
- AN ARTWORK
- MAY BE PURCHASED
- BUT THE WALK CANNOT BE SOLD
The very last line repeated in my head over and over and over. Our walk was as much of the art as the actual words that will be seen by so many walkers and hikers during the fall foliage season. In many ways, it is the most important part of the work. This quiet exchange that happens with a human being honors the earth. We were blessed with warm weather, blue skies and stillness. A perfect day to walk and be among trees.
Holly and I were doing a little performance in the woods, adorning trees with small poems of words to remind ourselves and others of the sacredness of the earth. The words will stay for the whole month of October, and hopefully longer, becoming marked by the elements as time passes by.
Holly writes about some of the details of her/our experience, from watching a young girl learning to read encounter the words to the discovery of someone who felt like the words needed to come down from the trees. You can read about that here.
We were able to do this work thanks in part by a grant from the Cultural Council of Northern Berkshire, a local agency, which is supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency in partnership with The Trustees of the Reservations.
Here, Stands can be found at the following Trustees sites:
- Field Farm in Williamstown, MA
- Notchview in Windsor, MA
- The William Cullen Bryant Homestead in Cummington, MA