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Memorable Restoration in Public Art 2020

| October 14, 2020 | 0 Comments
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Memorable Restoration in Public Art

We are slowly becoming more aware of our impact on the environment and how destructive we can be. Not only are we reading about it in books and newspapers and seeing it on the news, but more and more public art is making a statement to create awareness. Thus is so in New York based artist Brian Tolle ’s Stronghold , a new installation on the University of Washington Campus . The sculpture reintroduces the once abundant cedar trees on a now well-tended lawn.

Stronghold can be visited near the Portage Bay Vista on the south end of the UW campus. It provides a new meeting place and view point for students and visitors. Inspired from the history of the Northwest region and the logging of growth forests, Tolle decided to recreate a stump of one of the enormous cedar trees. Originally, the piece was to be constructed out of cast concrete, but with further studies and thought, it was determined that lumber was the better choice. Cedar was chosen for the suitability for the construction process and additionally to prove a point. The selected material is controversial to some, but Tolle believes that the lumber will be used and this application has more substance than a deck or hot tub. Although producing something from nature to recreate it isn’t an eco-friendly procedure, it does make us question our actions. With this piece, it is a reminder to the public every time they pass by it.

Brian Tolle recently gave a lecture about this piece and his past installations at the Henry Art Gallery on April 10,2008. Tolle is recognized mainly for the Irish Hunger Memorial in Battery Park of Lower Manhattan. This piece draws awareness to the Great Irish Famine that killed millions in Ireland. Also within the work is a tunnel that allows present facts of world hunger to be updated in order for us to understand the current situations around the world.

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History is the material in which he uses to make his art as he stated, “I look to history to understand the present.” Other works of his include replicas of stone walls and man-made rock formations. He also tries to recreate historic moments so that the public can enjoy and engage in the experience today. Not all of his projects are directed towards the environment but he does instigate conversations that lead us to look at how we used to live and what we had compared to how much has diminished today. His positive outlook does create a sense of optimism within the public that are able to view his work, empowering us to make a difference with current situations.

Memorable Restoration in Public Art

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