I'm interested in taking objects out of their original context and putting them
in a new one, and, in doing so, creating something completely different. I
like contrasts in the environment, but I don't want my work to contrast like
it should be subtle. It should be part of the environment, but not
dominate it. I try to use material that is already on the site (grass,
willows, water), but I use it in another way because I want people to see that
something different has happened there.
In projects in urban areas, this process is extremely complicated. There
are urban planners, architects, the provincial road building department, the
national forestry department, the high way department, the water department, and
they all have something to say. I usually cope with about 15 different
disciplines when working in cities. Because of this, there is a lot of
compromise, and unfortunately, usually only about one third of what I originally
envision is realized. If you are an architect or landscape architect, the
officials take you very seriously, but if you are an artist, like me, they just
look at you like you are crazy.
When working in rural locations, you have a lot more freedom. But still,
you always have to fight to convince people of the value of your idea.
Working in rural places has its own set of problems
-it's much more difficult to distinguish the work from its surroundings without
it screaming, "Look at me, I'm art." I don't want to make art that is
holy, but I do want people to see that there has been someone struggling to
bring an idea to life.
I want to prompt people to think a little bit differently about where they are -
to think, there is more here. These projects are meant to be experienced
by everyone, every day, and they can change with people and time. They are
not static and neither are their surroundings.
February Issue "Whose Woods Are These?",
Dwell Magazine, January-February 2003