Big & Little Arc

A path of peace, quiet and tranquility is to walk on fallen leaves protected by tall bamboo culms.

Materials: bamboo, steel rebar pegs, dyed cotton twine
Dimensions: 22′ x 23′ x 41′

Bamboo was growing in the backyard of the apartment my wife Sue and I rented on Howland Avenue in Asheville, NC. We were amazed to watch it grow past our 2nd floor window to 30′ tall in a month. We had a studio underneath the apartment. The landlord, who tried to get rid of the bamboo, gave us permission to cut as many culms as we wanted. The material was free and we had little money but plenty of time. We studied the feasibility of bamboo use in sculpture. We built small sculptures out of the bamboo.

Then we met sculptor Robert Winkler and his wife Arlene who were organizers and creators of River Sculpture Festival at the French Broad River Park in Asheville. Knowing my work, they asked for my participation in the festival and I agreed to design a large installation where the viewer could walk through and interact.  My idea would be to design a piece comparable to sculptor Richard Serra’s series of huge 2″ thick steel elliptical plates minus the potential threat of being smashed. I wanted the viewer to feel as comfortable as I did when I strolled through a well defined bamboo forest. I drew two half adjacent circles (arcs) and shifted their positions to allow a path for the viewer to walk through.

I made a small maquette which was accepted. I assembled a crew and we cut over 700 bamboo culms for the project.  After trimming the culms and making steel stakes to secure them in the ground we assembled and installed it in the park.

Maquette of Big & Little Arc
Interior path
Side view of arc
Twining detail