Shaker inspired

Optimism, a bronze sculpture, is a visual metaphor for a human trait that the Shaker philosophy relies on. Shaker Triptych is a three-element wall sculpture made of maple and based on the footprints of three trees: an apple and a pear at Hancock Shaker Village in Pittsfield, MA and a Bartlett pear tree from Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village in Maine. They have in common that both are in Shaker themed exhibits right now.

Optimism bronze 6'3"x2'x1.5'

Hancock Shaker Triptych maple flooring 4'x6'x1"

The triptych involved making patterns of where the trees meet the earth, then cutting them out of wood. Fruit trees were chosen for their usefulness to the Shakers. The Hancock Shaker pear tree – leftmost of the three – is the oldest tree at HSV. At Sabbathday Lake, Brother Arnold, one of three Shakers comprising that community pointed out two trees to me – a “survivor” Bartlett Pear tree and a butternut. The butternut I will use later because of its large size, but the pear fit the triptych. It is the topmost footprint of the three. It was planted by the Shakers before 1900, then struck by lightning in 1947. It is a hollow shell with woodpecker holes dotting its interior, yet it and a smaller pear next to it yield 5 bushels of pears each year. The Shaker community has existed for 135 years and the three current members, like the tree, are still productive survivors. The Hancock elements are tinted red and green at the suggestion of one of the Hancock Shaker Village interpreters as a reference to the red and green fruit on the Shaker gift painting of the Tree of Life.

If you go:

Optimism is in Lee MA until October 30, 2010

Shaker Triptych is at Hancock Shaker Village for their 50th anniversary exhibit until October 16, 2010. Auction organized by Sotheby’s.

This entry was posted in sculpture and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

One Trackback

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>