PICK UP STICKS (A Coeval Canopy Integration)
at heroncrest, searsport, maine, usa
to create an evolving visual and sound buffer that integrates growing plant life and manmade components. the project will enhance privacy and quality of life from the time of planting (May 2015) to maturity of 300 saplings and 100 trellis plants on the southern end of the Heroncrest property, “Heronwood”. the project will be developed in stages.
PICK UP STICKS uses common materials and basic assembly methods that allow for future deconstruction by sections in response to the growth of the saplings. salvaged, re-purposed and reusable materials are not considered by definition “ugly”; transforming perceptions that commonplace, practical or inexpensive things are ugly is a function of art. PICK UP STICKS is designed to be viewed from Heroncrest house. Viewing from the southern side is not planned at this time. the 5-acre pasture will be integrated into the overall design with a mown curving path that unites the front entry of the house with PICK UP STICKS.
original proposal: a fabric “wall” set 36 feet inside the Heroncrest property line near the young plantings and trellis unifies the design. fabric panels (5ft.8 in. x 50 ft. each; mounted 3 deep and 5 wide; totaling 17 ft. in height x 250 ft. in length) are supported on 6×6 in. wooden posts. the panels are light-weight weatherproof mesh, bound and finished with large grommets. a deep green color was selected by the property owner for its affinity to the forest canopy in full leaf. background areas of contrasting and analogous colors applied to the fabric suggest variations of sunlight and shadow in foliage.
2/2/16 update: word from Maine is the fabric panels do not survive the winter (contrary to manufacturer’s claims); in the spring, the wall will be rebuilt with live-edge pine boards supplied by a local mill, and the project evolves—
original proposal: colorful linear materials and objects anticipate the visual motion and rhythm of growth. these will be secured to the supporting posts and interwoven to develop a 3-dimensional canopy of form, space and light extending in front of and above the background. materials can include branches (painted or wrapped in fabric), fencing materials (wire and/or wooden, with patterns like chain link and picket), rope, cable, found-materials and contrasting fabrics.
5/6/2016 update: relocation of the sculptural component results in a new approach to materials and structure emphasizing sticks retrieved from far and near.
when I was small my dad gave me his set of pick-up-sticks; slender cylinders of wood, pointed and dipped in paint, a different color for each stick. playing was tricky, using the unpainted stick to flick one at a time from the pile without disturbing the others. when I started drawings for the Heroncrest project, and the idea of weaving a canopy of colorful lines emerged, I thought of pick-up-sticks. their basic appeal stays strong, even in the face of putting it all together again after the huffing and puffing is over (to borrow from the Little Pig whose house was made of sticks!) and of present challenges of doing it gracefully, without disturbing the growing trees, the privacy we are seeking to regain, and the healing of the neighborhood in the long view. PICK UP STICKS will stand in for the forest canopy and evolve collaterally with the sapling forest. like the child’s game, the project is simple, intentional, colorful, regenerative and playful. on many levels, this is about making something from nothing—picking up the sticks and exploring new outlooks, new views. —Margaret Sunday, June 2015
• Editorial, The Republican Journal, Belfast and Waldo County, Maine, July 17, 2015
• “Searsport homeowner erects ‘art banner’ to block view of fireworks shop” by Ethan Andrews, The Republican Journal, Belfast and Waldo County, Maine, July 9, 2015
The collage images used on this page are derived from silhouettes of rookery herons that form the basis of a proposed 8′ high sculpture portion of Pick Up Sticks. —August 2015
6 ft. tall heron rooks made of wire fencing, wires, hardware cloth, wing nuts, spacers and washers by Margaret Sunday;
the rookery will be assembled with 4 birds and decorative steel bed posts from the Searsport dump.
12 ft. high x 15 ft. wide, made from snow fencing, electric fence staves, synthetic ropes and Gorilla tape by Margaret Sunday;
the lobster awaits installation.
colorful sticks: will be integrated with the whole.
the barrier: the fabric wall as we found it in September and as we left it in October—
where the path begins—
how it stands . . .
the live-edge barrier zigzags, a subtle basketry of lines across the lower field. the boards are mounted alternating front and back to staggered posts; they form a single gesture that underscores the horizontal vistas of the bay. the nights are dark and quiet now, as they were before.
the wooden barrier was going up, and in one day 4 big trucks had to be extricated from the muddy field. mud was one consideration in moving the PICK UP STICKS sculpture uphill,
nearer to the house. . .
To see more images of PICK UP STICKS go to http://margaretsundaytapestry.com
The Rookery, The Giant Lobster, and PICK UP STICKS sculpture are on loan to Heroncrest by the artist. Graphics, photography, text and layout using the WordPress “Chateau” theme on this page— copyright Margaret Sunday 2016.