Back to Installations

Johnson Art Center, Middlebury College, Middlebury, Vermont

Materials & Dimensions:
Varicolored Vermont slate, cinder block, moss, grass sod, glacial moraine stone, opalux paper, fir, silver mylar
Total dimensions: 33 feet high x 75 feet wide x 83 feet long
Paper prism: 16 feet high x 5 feet square at ceiling
Slate cone: 14 feet high x 8 to 10 feet base diameter

The site was a three-story atrium with a wooden box grid skylight and a grey marble ground floor. The slate used for the installation came from the slate shingle industry in the area that has great mounds of sawed scrap slate.

The translucent paper prism was made to fit the grid of the skylight. Its point aligned precisely with the point of the slate cone rising from the floor. Their point of meeting was the middle zone of the second-floor overlook wall, on which I planted moss in a trough I made by extending the wall with cinder block. The topmost balcony ledge was lined with glacial moraine, containing a border of grass sod. Moss and sod were watered regularly during the exhibition. The moisture and growth of the moss and grass permeated the atrium with the smell of spring although it was January. On the marble floor, groupings of pieces of slate extended the landscape implicit in the cone. The different colors of the slate were used in the piece proportional to their natural occurrence in the geology of the area.

This installation was an analog for the valley of Middlebury: an image of the sky touching the earth, a microcosm of positions in the landscape, and a counterpoint to the winter outside.