Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Stone Sculpture Earthworks by Susan Hoenig

Earlier in the fall, when the spicebush was still thick with green, artist Susan Hoenig invited me to join one of several walks she led through Graeber Woods in nearby Franklin Township.

There she has fashioned an Ecological Sculpture Project, making rock sculptures patterned after the leaves of the tree that towers over each sculpture.

Photos on the project's facebook page show how the sculptures are dynamic, changing with the seasons as snow falls, or leaves and fruit gather between the rocks.

The sculptures become a way of focusing attention in the landscape, a frame that lends additional meaning to its contents, as Susan plucked a wild grape leaf from among the rocks and pointed out the pattern a leaf miner had made through its tissues.

Graeber Woods lends itself well to the project, with tree species seeming to cluster--a grove of tulip poplars here, a gathering of black walnuts there. Beneath much of it is a lush growth of spicebush, with leaves that give off a citrony smell when crushed.

Susan Hoenig's website describes her many works, in lands near and far, and in various media. I think of her work as exploring the connections between inner and outer nature. She describes her process this way:

"In my paintings I explore the union between my inner self and the birds that I observe. I feel the fragility and plight of a bird’s life that is so vulnerable, so exquisitely beautiful. In nature I study theirprofile, the shape of the head, the bill and markings. I become one with the bird, then I paint their portrait."

For me, understanding nature involves an integration of science and art, for nature is the ultimate artist, with each day bringing new creations in infinite shape and mood, from microscopic to universal in scale. We are forever nature's apprentice, seeking to emulate, work with, understand, and to some degree restore, given how nature's endless generosity has been exploited and abused.


Below is info on the Bunker Hill Natural Area and its Environmental Education Center. I was told that the education center has been dormant since the Franklin Township Public Schools had to make some funding cuts, but there's still contact info on the school website. There's also a frisbee golf course there, which appears functional, and a caretaker's residence.

The entrance to Graeber Woods is at 287 Bunker Hill Rd.

Frisbee golf!

Caretaker's residence.

1 comment:

  1. it is a lovely art and environment. thank you for caring us with beauty! congrats susan and friends!