December 2010

Sowers birth - Winter 2010

fieldwork, marc walter, The Last Sowers, les derniers Semeurs, site-specific


I stayed at fieldwork five days in a row, creating two large sculptures out of recycled materials: branches, fibres, soil, all found in the immediate surroundings of the site.

The idea is to evoke two beings that are inhabitants of this land. Part of a sort of tribe, they are the last ones to arrive, emerging from the woods and ready to sow the land for the next seasonal cycle. Upon visiting fieldwork and the already installed works in the pinegrove, I had a feeling of a site loaded with stories and fairytales; it made me want to tell my own.

Several aspects have guided my process. First, and as I often do, I want to encourage the visitors to penetrate deep into the field, thereby making an effort and demonstrating a willingness to engage on a path of discovery. I want to create the artworks at the back of the field, in a sort of bay. Second, given the scale of the space, it became very important to get the dimensions of my Sowers right: big enough to be noticed from afar and to fill the space between the field's sides, reasonably sized enough to be able to finish them in five days top. Third, I wanted them to have kinetic features to add some life to them.

Earth mounds were created to elevate the Sowers and to allow them to float over any snow. Branches from two already fallen trees (poplar and maple)  were woven to create the shapes. A few maple wips were cut to allow strength in the shoulder and arm of each sculpture. Dogwood was used to add color and density to the tops. Sisal and raffia fibres were used to extend both arms, to create moving lines in the wind and to evoke the sowing activity.

One of the main challenge was to make the best use of the brittle poplar and maple, which were really fragile. I am working with a year's duration in mind eventhough the sculptures are meant for a season. Many back and forth on beautiful local vintage orchard ladders allow to evaluate the proportions, the size, the elegance of the lines, the density of the work, the inter-relation between the two sculptures, and the actual making of the weaving of the branches.

In the end, I am satisfy with the emotion that The Last Sowers provide me and hope that their presence will invite passer-bys to stop, reflect upon the site, and discover the beautiful surroundings of fieldwork. I got soooo lucky with the weather that allowed me to work with a minimal use of gloves, no snow and bearly any rain. Susie Osler was amazing at providing support, comfort, and passionnate discussions. So were Cameron and Tim.

Fieldwork Featured in the EMC and The Frontenac News this December

fieldwork, marc walter, the last sowers

fieldwork has been getting a bit of a 'nod' this month in response to our latest installation.  Amy Hogue from the EMC/Perth News and Julie Druker from The Frontenac News both came out to watch Marc Walter working on his creation,  'The Last Sowers' -  two 'figures' now gracing the end of the field...

Here are links to their articles:

  Fieldwork - Exploring the Possibilities of 'Land Art' by Amy Hogue

  New Work in Winter Fields by Julie Druker

Hope you have a chance to come out with your boots, skis or snowshoes and have a look this winter!