"Dialogue With an Ancient Forest"

An environmental installation

As featured in Sculpture Magazine March 2011.
“Dialogue with an Ancient Forest”, had its inaugural exhibition on Cape Breton Island in Nova Scotia Canada in 2002. In 2004 it was shown in the National Library in Havana Cuba; 2008 at the Art Center in Perth Amboy New Jersey, 2009 at Seton Hall University also in New Jersey and 2010 at the Meyers Gallery at Arkon University in Ohio. Future venues are currently in the planning stages.

Dialogue with an ancient forest - 2002 Install at Cape Breton, CA

2002 Install
at Cape Breton, CA

Dialogue with an ancient forest - 2004 Install in Havana, Cuba

2004 Install
in Havana, Cuba

ialogue with an ancient forest - 2009 Install at Seton Hall University, NJ

2009 Install
at Seton Hall University, NJ

Dialogue with an ancient forest - 2010 Install at Arkon University, Ohio

2010 Install
at Arkon University, Ohio


Come and walk through an environmental awakening of thirteen*, nine-foot columns. The columns are designed with the wireless speakers inside the bases creating an ambient resonance surrounding people as they wander through and around the columns.

Its very possible that ancient forests around the world house the silent history of life’s survival techniques from which, if we are to endure, we should learn to listen or perhaps, listen to learn. Eavesdropping on these chroniclers of healing we just might not land up destroying ourselves and the world we love. The free standing columns start as flat sheets of 4’x8’ aluminum which are machined with a variety of electric and hand abrasives. Along with black pigment the flat surfaces are transformed into illusory three-dimensional experiences. The sheets of metal are then curved into a half round columns which stand on wooden bases.
The ambiguity of metal depicting the majesty of the woods was conceived as a vehicle to avoid the obvious: The earth is in trouble. The material invites questioning possibilities which is the purpose of the installation. Within the columns images morph human organic implications and tree forms. People seem to project their own interpretation of the stories being told about our relationship with the forest.

The concept for the exhibition was envisaged on Cape Breton, Nova Scotia in Canada. In 1974 I built a studio 2 1/2 miles into the woods which originally had no electricity or running water. For over thirty years we spent almost three months each summer in this rural community. I am fortunate to have had a career on a university art department faculty that gave me the opportunity each year to become immersed in the nature of the forest.

*The number of column can vary depending on the size of the venue.


  • November 2011, Lecture tour of Brazilian Museums TBA.
  • September 2011, From Head to Toe an exhibition on Governor’s Island, New York City.
  • September 2011, ‘Bombing of Bagdad” in Afterwards & Forwards, New Jersey City University.
  • February 4th- May24th 2011, Touch:Beyond Sight, Noyes Museum, MUSEUM.
  • April 2011, Inducted in to American Academy of Contemporary Artists.
  • March 2011, SCULPTURE MAGAZINE, review, Dialogue with an Ancient Forest.

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