Growth / decay

Material Information

Growth / decay
Hanis, Paul
Place of Publication:
Denver, Colo.
Metropolitan State University of Denver
Publication Date:
Physical Description:
31 leaves : ill. ; 28 cm.


Subjects / Keywords:
Nature (Aesthetics) ( lcsh )
Sculpture, American -- 20th century ( lcsh )

Record Information

Source Institution:
Metropolitan State University of Denver
Holding Location:
Auraria Library
Rights Management:
Copyright [name of copyright holder or Creator or Publisher as appropriate]. Permission granted to University of Colorado Denver to digitize and display this item for non-profit research and educational purposes. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder.
Resource Identifier:
47840067 ( OCLC )

Full Text
This is to certify that

Has successfully accomplished all requirements in order to fulfill
The Metropolitan State College of Denver Honors Program Thesis
Honors Thesis Advisor
MSCD Honors Program
Dr. Adolph Grundman
Director MSCD Honors Program
Dr. Frieda K. Holley,
Associate Vice-President of Academic Affairs

Growth / Decay
BFA Honors Thesis
by Paul Hanis
April 24,2001
Table of Contents
Art Historical Influences......................6
The Artwork....................................8
Appendix A.....................................27
Appendix B.....................................30

This thesis paper outlines the concept and creation of my Bachelor of Fine Arts
Thesis Exhibition, which was installed in the MSCD ARTS building Room 199 from
January 29 through February 2, 2001. It has been said that there is no piece of
information that cannot be considered pertinent to an artist; as an academic I
wholeheartedly agree with this idea. An innumerable amount of sources have
contributed to the inception of this project including the writings of Thoreau, Muir, and
Abbey, as well as a multitude of scientific textbooks. However, attempting to carefully
trace my progressions of thought over the past two years would be a monumental if
not impossible endeavor, and would undoubtedly stray from the task at hand to
document and describe my artwork. The information presented in this statement has
been selected because of its direct relationship to the Growth / Decay thesis.
This statement has been broken up into sections, each being a description of
the artwork and/or related topics. The Introduction section serves to describe basic
concepts concerning the artwork and increase general familiarity with the thesis topic,
being broken up into the sub-sections of Structure, Material, and Scale. A discussion
of art history and influences gleaned from it follows. The section about the artwork
itself provides images and written explanations for each sculpture in the exhibition.
The Conclusion outlines things I have learned in the process of conducting this study
and possible directions for the future. Examples of natural structure and images of the
exhibition itself are listed in Appendices A and B, respectively.

(Introduction) 2
The sculptures in Growth / Decay are primarily studies of natural structures,
both organic and inorganic. A fascination with nature and natural forms has caused
within me a hunger for exploration and visual study. Nearly all of the structural
research that I conduct takes place outdoors, in the field, with a small amount gleaned
from books and other publications. I have found the most beneficial study for me has
come from spending hours or even days in an area, taking multiple sketches,
photographs, and writings.
I have, however, found it useful to couple visual research and observation in the
field with library and book research, which helps me to be more fully informed of the
science behind the nature. As a sculptor, I am not only concerned with visual form but
the aspects of material and process as well. Learning the processes behind the
structures I admire has given me the ability to better visualize and understand their
formation, which translates into more closely related artwork. The preliminary research
for the sculptures in this study has included classes and books about the general
principles of Ecology, Geology, and Botany.
I would like to stress that for me, on-site study is more effective than secondary
research such as pictures and textbooks, because I am fully immersed and involved in
my environment. Opportunities such as physical movement around the area or object,
observing the passage of time and lighting effects, and liberation from the distractions
of an urban environment cannot be obtained from the study of a book.
This last aspect, removal from the city, is especially important to me and my
work. As someone who lives in the city, I am constantly surrounded by the products of
man which can generally be visually described in terms of grids, rectangles, and other
geometric structures. Immersion in this environment leads to a reduced understanding
and appreciation for the ways in which nature works, the primordial principles of growth
and decay, and the forms produced by these processes. I believe the only way to fully
comprehend and understand natural forms is to experience them in their environment,

(Introduction) 3
as a part of that environment. Completeness of this transformation of state-of-mind is
directly proportional to the amount of time spend away from the city. I prefer to spend
several days, if not weeks, in each particular environment to heighten my personal
intimacy with that area as much as possible.
I am fortunate and glad to say that each sculpture in this study is the result of
extended periods of immersion in an environment, cumulatively ranging from days to
months in each; for the sake of this study, I believe muddy boots to be a sign of
authority. In addition to this I would like to stress the importance of approaching these
environments with the correct attitude. The intent is to find and record, not find and
explain. The land is approached with the naivete of a child, focusing on exploration
and discovery. The sculptures in this study as well as the photographs and drawings
in Appendix A are some of the results of these wanderings.

(Introduction) 4
Even though the subjects of Growth / Decay are natural structures, I have
decided for this study to use man-made, or at least man-altered, materials for the
construction of the sculptures. The materials in this study are the same that are
largely used to build a city; initially derived from nature, but radically manipulated and
changed by man. Metals, for example, are found in nature as crystal veins laced
through solid rock. Man separates the metal from the rock through a huge construct of
machinery and then puts it through the tortures of intense heat, chemical alterations,
presses, rollers, saws, and shears. A tree is killed in the wild and shipped to a mill
where it is sliced, shaped, rolled, baked, and pasted. The results of these processes
are forms of materials that man can use more easily and efficiently, such as rods,
sheets, planks, ingots, tubes, and the like.
The decision to use these materials to depict natural structures has some
interesting connotations. Substances which are normally perceived as dead and
unmoving spring into action with a new life. The context of an urban environment, as
discussed earlier in the section on structure, is turned upside down as the materials
seem to grow, spread, infect, and extend. The sculptures seem strange and out of
place. The underlying notion suggested by this effect is that it is the urban conception
of normality that is actually skewed, not the sculptures themselves.

(Introduction) 5
All of the sculptures are a roughly human scale. The pieces that are slightly
larger still seem to have about the same amount of mass as a human body, regardless
of how much space they fill. This size allows for several types of contemplation.
Because the piece commands roughly the same amount of space as the viewer it is
automatically equated to a body, allowing the viewer to relate to the piece as a body
itself. In addition, the sculptures may simultaneously be perceived as a small scale
model of something vastly large, or as an intimate object with fine details.
Another scale that deserves noting is that of time. The natural forms that
Growth / Decay is based on are formed on a very slow, patient time scale. This time
scale varies, ranging from the millions of years it takes for a canyon to erode to the
weeks, months, or years it takes for noticeable plant growth. Even the relatively fast
growth of a vine is outside the realm of normal human observation, which operates on
an extremely short and limited time frame. The visual implications of this are
These natural changes are definitely occurring but we cannot watch them
happen; to us, the rocks and trees are caught in a state of suspended animation.
Without the help of time-lapse photography or other mechanisms we can only imagine
the growth and change taking place. The result is a high level of mental tension in the
forms created, one of impending action or reaction. The viewer can observe where the
motions have taken place and predict where they may happen next. This implication is
strengthened and complimented by the curvilinear lines and flowing nature of the
forms. By depicting natural structures in my sculptures, this sensibility is included in
the overall perception of each piece.

(Art Historical...) 6
Certainly it can be stated as common knowledge that artists have been working
from nature since the most primal beginnings of civilization. The cave paintings of
Lascaux, dated to approximately 15,000 BC, depict animals engaged in various
activities. Innumerable works of art, including the lines of Nazca, the Adenan
serpentine earth-mounds of New England, the Minoan wall paintings of Crete, the
Chinese landscape scrolls, the Renaissance studies of form, and the picturesque
paintings of 18th and 19th century Europe, to name a scant few, all deal in some way
with the depiction of nature. Faced with this daunting amount of history it becomes
apparent that for the purpose of this study narrowing and refining are essential.
Acknowledging the inevitability of influence from my surroundings in urban
contemporary society, I have looked to artists that work within and respond to this
framework, beginning more concisely with the Art Nouveau style of 100 years ago.
Art Nouveau began in Europe as a reaction against the escalation of
industrialization running rampant by the second half of the 19th century. The
movements early years were characterized by such artists as William Morris who
fought for a return to earlier standards of craftsmanship and artistry, particularly as was
seen during the Middle Ages. Surely this sentiment remains strong today, if not
amplified by increased levels of "progress" and the proliferation of machinery. The
hand of the artist is emphasized in my work for this same reason.
Art Nouveau was generally characterized by a free-flowing line form, given its
trademark "whiplash" name in Walter Cranes book Lines of Movement, published in
1875. While this style was derived from a large variety of historical influences
including Eastern motifs, Celtic knots, and 18th century Rococo, the main source of
inspiration for Art Nouveau artists was natural forms, particularly plant life and
microorganisms. I am especially interested in the works of the early 20th century
French artists Guimard, Vallin, and Marjorelle, all of whom worked with the concept of
imparting natural, flowing forms into normally rectangular and geometric spaces.

(Art Historical...) 7
Contemporary artists whose work I admire include Lynda Benglis and Barbara
Cooper. Benglis work is heavily based on the properties of materials and the forms
that these properties allow. Her installations of the early 1970's are particularly
prominent for me. Polyurethane foam was poured over armature structures and
allowed to harden. Heavy layering of the pours resulted in extremely globular forms
that embodied a visual manifestation of changing states of matter from liquid to solid.
The visual effects are similar to those seen in the rocks formed by lava flows.
I was fortunate enough to attend a guest lecture given by Barbara Cooper,
hosted at the Auraria Campus. As an artist that works from nature, her lecture was
concerned with describing natural structures and the processes that create them. The
section that was most beneficial to me concerned the idea of artistic influences.
Cooper stressed that it is most important to acknowledge directly where ideas come
from and what the artwork is about, even if that means shrugging off the art world.
Talking about art in terms of other art and artists tends to generate a self-reflexive
vocabulary that the work may not necessarily be about.
This is not to say that an artist is unattached from the past; it is unreasonable to
proclaim that any working artist is completely free of art historical influences, that the
work is "virgin" and completely original. However, it is not unreasonable to assert that
one does not actively look to other artists for ideas, or that one artists work is not
based on the work of another. I wish to make it clear that the artists I have mentioned
in this section are noted for the similarities between their work and mine, either
conceptually or formally, and not as sources for my own ideas. My work is derived
directly from my own adventures in the wild, from sketches, photographs, and notes
collected in the field or from publications.

(Artwork) 8
This section specifically outlines the artwork included in this study. Growth /
Decay is comprised of six sculptures made of varying materials. For each sculpture
an image is provided as well as a written description, which outlines specific
inspirations, concepts, and technical information. Pieces that fall into a series, as is
the case with the Hunter and Selva sculptures, have an additional description page
that describes general concepts for the series.
The sculptures will be presented in the following order:
* Tundra
* Hunter (No. 2 and 3)
* Selva (No. 1 and 2)
* Fulford
Photographs of the Growth/ Decay exhibition itself can be found in Appendix B.

(Artwork) 9
Tundra began as homage to the experience of being above treeline in alpine
areas and is notable because it was the first piece in this body of work. The desire to
use the semi-precious qualities of cast glass to represent the tundra environment led to
an investigation of the expansive view from the exposed ridges and peaks. The
elevated and unobstructed vantage point reveals the grand characteristics of the
mountains: sharp cliffs towering over flat plains, sprawling ridges that snake around
and break into smaller and smaller ridge systems, drainage gullies and rivers, and, of
course, the surprisingly sharp line that marks the end of an environment hospitable to
trees and the beginning of the harsh and minimal tundra environment (Appendix A, fig
4.1). Tundra has been placed into a corner for several reasons, the main one being
the unique opportunity presented by using perpendicular planes to enhance negative
space both on and off the wall. The peaks and ridges thrust from different directions
into a common central area, puncturing and activating the space in front of the corner.
Not only is the space off of the wall activated but the walls themselves are equally
accentuated, as the walls stark flatness and absence of color are contrasted with the
tendril-like fingers of the ridges. Placing Tundra over a corner also serves to increase
the awareness of "sprawling," a spreading out of the forms.
Technical Information
Tundra, like many of the sculptures in this body of work, was made in pieces for
the advantages of greater ease in construction, transport, and storage. The
disadvantages of piecemeal construction are the difficulty of installation and,
depending on the complexity of the sculpture, my required presence during installation
to ensure proper placement and hiding of any seams. Tundra was the first of this
particular study to be made but the idea for construction came from the Hunter pieces,
the first of which precedes Tundra and was not included in this body. This method of
wood construction is outlined in the descriptions for Hunter No.2 and Hunter No.3
later in the section. The glass peaks were cast into molds and mounted to the wood
bases with a small brad-nails border and silicone. The silicone was applied over the
glass and down the ridges to create a more smooth visual transition from wood to

(Artwork) 10

(Artwork) 11
The Hunter sculptures were inspired by the eroded formations of sandstone
and shale that occur throughout the Colorado Plateau (Appendix A, figs 1.1 and 1.2),
specifically within Hunter Canyon, a branch of Kane Canyon, Utah. The rocks in the
area consist of layers of sandstone that have been eroded away into fantastic curves
and contortions. The formations range in scale from the towering canyon walls
themselves, marked with spires and arches, to modest outcrops and boulders of softer
rock so water shaped that they seem like a fluid themselves, swiss cheese rocks with
thousands of tiny coves and arches, stepped waterfalls, and smooth polished finishes.
Particularly evident in the smaller scale formations are the multiple levels of cross-
striations in the rock, the result of heavy layering of different sands over millions of
years in a prehistoric sea-bed. The stratified nature of the rocks is revealed and
accentuated by the step-like gradations. This visual and physical characteristic is
present throughout Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, and Utah, but Hunter Canyon was
chosen for the title because that is where the idea to translate the rocks into sculpture
was realized.
In an attempt to mimic the natural process of layering and subsequent erosion,
plywood was chosen as the medium. In the Hunter sculptures plywood has been cut,
stacked, glued, and then carved away, revealing the striations within. The results are
forms in which each layer represents a change in elevation, separated by a definite
line and usually with a noticeable color change. This characteristic addresses another
interesting concept, namely the idea of self-similarity of form on both a microcosmic
and macrocosmic scale. The forms can be perceived as topographical projections of a
large landscape or as representations of a single boulder, often allowing for both types
of contemplation simultaneously. Erosion is the main culprit responsible for the natural
rock formations; for this reason emphasis in the sculptures has been placed on making
the subtractive process very conspicuous. Edges are generally smooth and gradations
gradual. The multitude of flowing lines is very active and implies motion, not of the
wood itself, but of a force acting upon the wood which appears to be simultaneously
active and static.

(Artwork) 12
Hunter No. 2
This sculpture represents my first attempt to incorporate plywood into a full-
scale sculpture. (Hunter No. 1 is a smaller, preliminary experiment and has not been
included in this study.) Hunter No. 2 is unique among the other sculptures in this
study because it represents both of the processes of growth and decay in one related
piece. The idea for this sculpture came from a boulder in Hunter Canyon that
presented a compelling arrangement of eroded rock and lichen growth in one unified
Technical Information
Hunter No. 2 marks the beginning of a relatively quick way of working with
material to utilize large amounts of wall space. Unlike Tundra, which was constructed
in small parts, the wooden portion of this sculpture is one solid unit. The steel forms,
used to represent lichen growth, are the result of a new process previously unexplored.
Rebar was constructed into a curvilinear and convoluted frame, to which cut sheet
steel was attached. The flat metal was cold forged over the frame into the bumps and
blobs of the finished product. Despite the increased difficulty in manipulation, cold
forging was used exclusively instead of hot forging because of the heightened
hammer-mark effect and to avoid burning off the natural rust color. The high points of
each piece were polished to contrast with the rust color of the lower areas. The
natural colors of the wood were left intact, being finished only with a protective
polyurethane clear-coat. The components of Hunter No. 2 were all built relatively
quickly, taking the least amount of time to complete out of all the sculptures in the
study. The advantages of Hunter No. 2 are most prevalent in installation, which goes
quickly and allows for spontaneous variation in the placement of forms, making the
sculpture adaptable to different wall sizes. This is the direct result of frustrations
encountered in the construction and installation of Tundra.

Hunter No. 2
(Artwork) 13
Dimensions: Variable,
approx. 10' x 6'
Wood, Steel

(Artwork) 14
Hunter No. 3
This sculpture represents a new way of approaching the plywood process
utilized in the Hunter sculptures. Unlike its predecessor, Hunter No. 3 does not
mount on the wall but is instead a free-standing piece, completely in the round. This
piece focuses on the spire and "hoodoo" shapes often created by the process of
erosion. Emphasis has been placed on the vertical aspect, requiring a much more
involved layering process in the plywood section. In addition, a steel base has been
created to hold the plywood block as well as compliment the wooden forms with similar
metal structures.
Technical Information
Hunter No. 3 is made up of nearly 5 times as many layers of plywood as
Hunter No. 2, requiring an extensive system of dowels and pegs within to ensure
strength and resilience. The wooden spires were constructed and carved separately,
being combined into one form as the last step. The heaviness of the plywood mass
required a substantial base, constructed out of steel bar and pipe. The bar was
assembled into a base frame, providing stability. Cuts were made from steel pipes
with a cutting torch, the tip being aimed sharply inward to increase the flowing visual
effects of blown molten steel. Verticality was emphasized in the cutting process, but
the pieces themselves follow no specific pattern of form. These smaller pieces were
then MIG welded in groups around the frame. The plywood was stained with a rust
color, overlaid with opaque white stain, and finished with a matte clear coat. The steel
was set outside and sprayed daily with a solution of lawn fertilizer and water, rusting
the piece beautifully in less than a week.

(Artwork) 15
Dimensions: 36" x 34" x 65"
Media: Wood, Steel
Year: 2000

(Artwork) 16
The Selva pieces explore steels ability to mimic plant life. Plants are a visual
representation of growth; they are the result of additive rather than subtractive
processes. These pieces mimic this process, focusing on the addition of material.
Both of them began as central stalks that were subsequently branched out and
expanded into their final forms. Mild steel was utilized because of its adaptability to
this process. The conspicuous hardness of the metal is accentuated with thick bars,
layers of material, and areas of high polish. This serves to make the contorted
arrangements slightly imposing, exaggerating the impenetrable and indestructible
implications of the visual forms. Sheet steel was included to off-set the linear forms of
the bar with larger, more bulbous shapes. The masses of twisted, bent steel create
the implication of animation and activity. Selva" is the Spanish word for "forest," and
was chosen for these pieces because of my experiences in the rain forests of south-
eastern Peru.

(Artwork) 17
Selva No. 1
The first of the Selva sculptures is a study of tree structures. The exposed root
system is similar to buttress roots in the jungle (Appendix A, figs 2.2 and 2.4), which
native trees have adapted for stability. This piece explores the similarity in structure
between trees and microbiological forms; the root system and definable central
"nucleus" follow a resemblance to neurons within the human brain, which have a tree-
like structure as well.
Technical Information
Selva No. 1 was the first large-scale attempt at working with steel in this way.
This piece separates into two halves, the bottom half consisting of the roots and most
of the nucleus, and the top half being the nucleus cap and upper stalk. The roots were
assembled first using a basic "cut, sharpen, and attach" process. The sheet metal
nucleus was formed piecemeal, using hot and cold forging to achieve the convoluted
shapes. Vein-like lines on the nucleus were created by heavy layering of welded
beads. All of the thick bar was textured using a cutting torch, briefly heating the
surface and blowing the pool of molten metal around. This sculpture required an equal
amount of oxy-acetylene torch welding and MIG welding, as well as a nearly equal
amount of hot and cold forging, cutting, and forming. A dark motor oil patina was
applied to the entire piece, with only the veins on the nucleus being polished for high

(Artwork) 18
Selva No. 1
Dimensions: 37" x 46" x 56"
Medium: Steel
Year: 1999

(Artwork) 19
Selva No. 2
The second Selva sculpture focuses on the tangled vines of a rain forest.
Vines grow very quickly and will smother other plants in a constant struggle for light
and space. The visual result is a dense jumble of material, a "net" of gnarled, twisted,
worm-like cordons, occasionally interrupted by a termite nest or a "hanging garden," in
which other plants germinate among the mid-air tangles (Appendix A, figs 2.1 and 2.3).
Steel bars of varying thickness have been engaged in this battle, each one twisting
around and over the others. Selva No. 2 follows a meandering path, penetrating a
large amount of space with a relatively small amount of material.
Technical Information
This sculpture introduced a new way of attaching the metal; not after it is cut,
but before. A departure from Selva No. 1, for this piece long, straight bars were
attached at one point and then twisted around on both sides. Often two or three bars
were twisted at the same time to increase their interactions with one another.
Emphasis was placed on making spontaneous, random bends instead of controlled
twists. Sheet metal was added occasionally for interest and variance of form. This
piece relied heavily on the rose-bud heating torch and MIG welding, with the oxy-
acetylene welding being limited to the sheet metal. The finished form was wire
brushed from top to bottom, giving it a polished look. The quick bar bends and
reduced amount of painstaking sheet metal work made Selva No. 2 progress much
more quickly than Fulford and Selva No. 1.

(Artwork) 20
Selva No. 2
Dimensions: 40" x 35" x 95"
Medium: Steel
Year: 2000

(Artwork) 21
This sculpture is based on stalactite and stalagmite formations observed in
Fulford cave, Colorado (Appendix A, fig 3.1). This is an example of steel being used to
represent additive forms that are not alive. Cave formations are the manifestation of
thousands of years of running, dripping water which deposits tiny amounts of rock in its
path. These rocks are not slowly wearing away like those being exposed to the
elements above ground, but rather are steadily growing and therefore take on
extremely bulbous, wax-like characteristics, like petrified icicles. The contrast between
the globular, additive rock formations of Fulford and the soft, erosional rock formations
of the Hunter series is pronounced.
Technical Information
Fulford was constructed in two main halves which mechanically fit together.
The top half is completely hollow, a light but astonishingly durable frame-less shell of
sheet metal. The lower end of the top half exposes a conspicuous opening inside,
revealing the hollow nature of the piece and inviting the viewer to stoop down and
investigate this property. The sheet metal on the bottom half disguises a rebar frame,
added for structural stability. Fulfords wavy, convoluted surface was created
piecemeal, laboriously adding strips of metal next to and over others until a closed
form was achieved. The small size of each piece of metal and the large amount of
welding made this piece the most time consuming and painstaking of the entire study.
Hot and cold forging, torch cutting, and oxy-acetylene welding were utilized for 95% of
the construction. The other 5% of construction involved cold shear cutting and MIG
welding. The entire piece was given a single coat of a dark motor-oil patina and the
high areas were subsequently polished, strengthening the ripple effect" of the forms
and finishing the piece.

(Artwork) 22
Dimensions: 18" x 15" x60"
Medium: Steel
Year: 2000

(Conclusion) 23
This study represents an immense amount of growth within myself as an artist
in the realms of concept, material, and process. Throughout the last two years I have
developed a concrete direction in my work, fully realizing where my inspiration comes
from and where to look for it. This thesis marks the beginning of an attitude of
experimentation with materials, including the potentials and limitations of each. I am
pleased with the outcome of this study and the artwork created. As my first fully
developed body of work, Growth / Decay has forced me to think about my work in
terms of a body instead of individual pieces. Aspects such as the relation of the
sculptures to one another, arrangement in a gallery space, lighting, installation,
concept statements, and presentation, which are shown in Appendix B, have become
just as important as the artwork itself. This has caused me to realize new directions
and potential for my work that I had not considered before.
I would like to take the gestural qualities of my work even further than they are
now. I feel that while each of the pieces is strong, they are all relatively confined, not
fully utilizing the space around them or relating to one another to their full potential. In
the future I would like to begin experimenting with an installation mind-set, expanding
the size and scope of my work to further invade space. The sculptures may not be
able to be fully constructed outside of their intended display space and be brought in
ready-to-hang. Off-site preparation coupled with longer, more involved installation
processes would allow for a more intimate relationship between each sculpture and its
surroundings. In this way each piece will fully relate and react to its environment.
Examples of the results gained from this process include each piece spreading out,
extending onto walls and the floor, hanging from the ceiling, and physically connecting
with other sculptures. I would like to begin creating a more full spatial experience,
requiring the viewer to look in all directions and physically move through, under, and
around each sculpture.

(Conclusion) 24
Expanding the size and scope of my work will involve a reevaluation of
materials. To encompass space in the way that I envision now, more efficient methods
and materials will need to be explored and utilized. Hard metals such as steel are time
consuming and painstaking to manipulate. Impracticality increases with scale working
with metal the way that I have for this thesis. As much as I enjoy bending and welding
metal, I may be forced to abandon it for the time being, exploring the possibilities of
natural materials and more malleable substances. I would like to continue with my
experiments with plywood, expanding on my ideas and incorporating it into whatever
other materials I embrace in the future. All of these changes will require an extensive
amount of research into materials and processes as well as intense experimentation
and exploration.

(Epilogue) 25
Many students graduating with their Bachelor of Fine Arts degree emerge from
the experience with far more questions than they have answers. As my conclusion
proves, I am certainly no exception to this rule. I do, however, feel that the process of
writing this thesis and all the work involved has been extremely beneficial. Doing the
extra reading, research, writing, drawing, sculpting, and presenting has led to an
increased understanding of myself, my artwork, my motivations, my interests, and my
aspirations. I feel that my work is much more informed and mature as a result of this
extended study, and that my sense of direction has been dramatically increased. More
than anything this thesis has served as a model, a way of working and thinking that I
will continue to follow. I will continue to be as in-depth as possible in my research and
implementation of ideas, as well as be prepared to step back and objectively analyze
my work. I have thoroughly enjoyed the experience of this project, and look forward to
maintaining the impetus that I have gained towards the discoveries ahead.

(Bibliography) 26
Adelstein, Michael E. and Pival, Jean G. (eds) Ecocide and Populution. New York: St.
Martins Press, Inc., 1972.
Arnason, H. H. History of Modern Art (Fourth Ed.). New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc.,
Arnheim, Rudolf. Entropy and Art. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California
Press, 1971.
Appleton, Jay. The Experience of Landscape. Chichester: John Wiley and Sons, Ltd.,
Collingwood, R. G. The Idea of Nature. New York: Oxford University Press, 1945.
Krane, Susan. Lynda Benglis. Atlanta: High Museum of Art, 1990.
Schneider, Stephen and Morton, Lynne. The Primordial Bond. New York: Plenium
Press, 1981.
Shepard, Paul. Man in the Landscape. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., 1967.
Shimer, John A. This Sculptured Earth: The Landscape of America. New York:
Columbia University Press, 1959.
Stokstad, Marilyn. Art History. New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 1995.

(Appendix A) 27
Appendix A: Examples of Structure
fig. 1.1 boulder in Hunter Canyon, Utah

(Appendix A) 28
fig.2.2 drawing of buttress root
system, southeastern Peru
fig. 2.3 drawing of a strangler fig tree,
southeastern Peru

(Appendix A) 29

(Appendix B) 30
Appendix B
The Exhibition
Jan. 29 Feb. 2, 2001

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