The Roots of the Matter

Trinity Church Wall StreetThe roots (ha) of this post reach back through two other posts. I love it when that happens – a thread carried through. Pictured above (Twelfth Night, January 2014 Archives) is sculptural response to 9/11 in the churchyard of Trinity Church at the beginning of Wall Street. After the attack it became a sanctuary and center for the relief efforts. Working with the salvageable parts of a ruined 500 year-old sycamore tree from the site, sculptor Steve Tobin created “Trinity Root”.

Root Sculptures at Philadelphia Flower ShowSeveral months later at the Philadelphia Flower Show “Articulture” (Archives, March 2014), sculptures by Mr. Tobin were featured in the Reading Terminal plaza at the Convention Center, straddling the tracery of the old rail lines with bold forms.

Kent CT along Route 7Bucolic Kent CT on Route 7 in Litchfield County is home to two boarding schools, Kent and South Kent. A population of famous weekenders – Henry Kissinger, the late Oscar de la Renta, Patti LuPone — makes for a lively arts scene in a quintessential New England town.

Dappled SculptureIn 2013,The Morrison Gallery in Kent installed 14 Tobin sculptures in various locations about town. Most of the sculptures are installed among the businesses that line Route 7, which remains a rural route beside the Housatonic River north of New Milford CT.

Rusted Root View Rusted with AttitudeTwo views of one of the largest sculptures which stands in an open field on the Main Street. It is the only one that has a matte rusted appearance, and as such, seems very integrated into the landscape.

White sculpture between the treesFramed by two majestic trees, this white sculpture seems to turn in and around on its’ self. What five year-old could resist trying to climb it? The day these were photographed it was only about 7 degrees with very few pedestrians at all.

 Tripod ArcAt once the most majestic and linear of the sculptures, this black tripod root changes form dramatically as the viewer moves around.

 Symbiotic rootsThese vermillion roots have a symbiotic connection and gleam in the sunshine, animating the bare woodland beyond. Lest you think that Mr. Tobin is only a roots kinda guy, visit his website www.stevetobincom and see the variety of his creations in many mediums with many forms.

Vermillion root duoEven more organic and ‘root-like’, this pair of vermillion sculptures has the most vivid animation and appear to be dancing. They seem to be closest to the “Trinity Root” sculpture not only in vibrant color but the varied sizes and more shapely, jagged details of the roots. Wouldn’t you like to leave the supermarket and drive past them every day?


About Susan

Susan Detjens is a former landscape painter, she lectures, demonstrates and runs workshops on floral design for museums, horticultural organizations and garden clubs across the US.
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3 Responses to The Roots of the Matter

  1. Ginnie Tietjens says:

    Susan, I look forward to your blogs, especially for their inspiration. I will never forget the day shortly after we moved up to the Lehigh Vally while trying ti fund a short cut through an industrial park and caught out the corner of my eye a striking root like sculpture. I made a u-turn and drove up to this industrial building and found out just whose studio produced such a spectacular piece of art. The guys working in the warehouse let me take a tour of the entire huge warehouse which included Steve’s earliest work. He is a facinating local artist who began his career as a physicist. I’ve sopped in many times to check out what to gang have been working on.

  2. Alexandra says:

    I love these root sculptures! Very cool

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