Ponderosa Whirlpool

Ponderoas whirlpool has been made for Blackfoot pathways, Sculpture in the Wild in Lincoln, Montana and is the 8th work here to be made in place. It is 46′ in diameter and made entirely of beetle killed pine and fir with stone pebbles in between and one boulder at the bottom of the vortex, to allow viewers to climb down there, stand on the stone and look up at the big skies of Montana. In a sence this was the point of the piece as the sky here in Montana is a big feature of the landscape and I wanted the work to seemingly pull the sky down into the earth. After all that effort of peeling the bark off, we burned the Ponderosa bark pattern back onto the loggs, getting closer and darker and more complex as they approached the dip in the centre. In some ways they look like dappled sunlight or ripples in water.

My thanks go to Kevin O’Dwyer, the director and all the board members for their help and support. Also to Steve Woodhouse for preparing all the materials and tools needed for the work, to Mark Smith for digging and clearing the site and for so accurately making the hole, placing the boulder and for delivering the stone pebbles. To all the people who came and gave their time peeling the bark off the trees, in Particular Wendy Gehring, who organised it all. Most of all I must thank Caleb Fey who gave his time to help us throughout the laying and moving of the logs, with his expertise on the vaious machines we used to do this. And lastly I would like to thank the two interns, David Turillo and Beth Huhtala who were so brilliant in their help on this piece and who made my job so much lighter and more pleasant.