Revealed: Outdoor Sculpture at Maudslay

During a Community Residency in at Fowler Dune Shack on the Cape Cod National Seashore, Deb Carey pointed out this survivor organism to me. When the dune eroded, most of this high bush blueberry’s roots were exposed, yet it survived and bears fruit. I was impressed.

Video 1 shows the setting. one minute, 6 seconds
Video 2 is shakier due to walking on sloping sand, but a 360 degree view. 3 minutes
Video 3 very close up, includes an opening where something lives within the roots. 1 minute, 40 seconds
Video 4 shows the small berries. 47 seconds

High Bush Blueberry, MA

N 420 04.542’

W 0700 09.676’


Life in the Provincetown dune shacks is makeshift too. No electricity, no running water, primitive bathroom. I was there for a week, enjoying the serenity to think about my work. I edited a draft of a young adult manuscript. And began preliminary work for the Outdoor Sculpture at Maudslay exhibit. Back at my own studio, I made the structure for “Revealed” with what I had. The doors are from my old kitchen, the blanket rack was my sister’s, etc. The feathers, sand and the driftwood at the bottom are from the Cape Cod National seashore, not far from the blueberry bush. The negative shape in the black frame that reveals the drawing of the bush shows the footprint of the bush’s trunk at the level where the sand should be. There are a few sanitation plant discs, from the accidental release in New Hampshire, some of which have drifted to Provincetown at the outermost tip of the Cape along with other human artifacts – mylar balloons, fishing equipment, and so on.  Nearby were 450-500 gray and harbor seals basking on a sandbar. Coyotes, sand frogs of some kind, many shorebirds, and whales feeding offshore were the denizens. There were tracks in the sand where a sea turtle had come up on the beach to lay eggs. Lots of beach plums were ripe and rose hips, too. But most remarkable was this bush with most of its intricate roots revealed. What should be inside was out in plain view.

Like this survivor high bush blueberry, we can send down taproots and survive no matter what, if we have the spirit to do so.

Many thanks to Tom Boland and Chip Brock of the Provincetown Compact for their part in granting me the Community Residency at Fowler Dune Shack August 19-26, 2012. Also thanks to Deb Carey for pointing out the bush and its roots and helping with measurements, to Egils for taking the still photos of Revealed, and to Bert Snow for organizing the Outdoor Sculpture at Maudslay exhibit each year in Newburyport, MA as he has since 1998.

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