Margin Threshold

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Connemara Nature Conservancy, Plano, TX

Materials & Dimensions:
Four living hackberry trees, cedar elm and red oak deadfall, swamp reeds, hemp twine, grape vine, fir, redwood
11 feet high (excluding hackberry trees) x 35 feet long x 1 ½ feet thick

The site was the Connemara Nature Preserve. It consisted of a flood plain, bordered in an arc on one side by a tree-lined creek with steep banks and on the other by a terraced hill. The terrain was grassy, with few trees, for it had once been farmland. There were small round holes in the flood plain made by crayfish that came up in wet weather. The damp areas of the plain were strewn with small round snail shells.

The four hackberry trees that formed the supports of the piece were part of a former fence line. I built the wall of deadfall and thatched it with swamp reeds, both gathered on-site. The wall was not a barrier, but a viewfinder and a threshold. The round portal was lined with grape vine from the creek banks and framed the view of a large willow tree at the edge of the creek. Late in the day, sunlight through the portal projected an oval of light on the flood plain. Margin Threshold was visible, broadside, from almost a mile away, yet its wall almost vanished at twenty feet if approached edgewise.