Liz Vercruysse

The Experiment
wood-fired native clay

Spikes, thorns, briars, brambles, spines, call them what you will, are the protective elements of some botanies. They may be delicate or menacing, harmless or deadly, they are recognized as a sign to beware.

The earth is finally exhibiting signs of protest after years of human abuse. In this latest installation the earth becomes the organism in need of protection. I envision the space covered in spikes: floor, walls and ceiling. (The size of the installation area is flexible but a hallway or entryway would be the most effective.) Each, carbon neutral*, 4” x 2” cone form protruding from its perch is defending its precious world. In this menacing space it’s man versus land, but it doesn’t have to be. Each spike also serves as an offering; the viewer can remove a spine revealing a fact of environmental preservation and take it with them as a reminder of the work that lies ahead for all of us. The thorn can be taken and a donation left in its place. (Donations will be given to local or national global warming efforts.) The space will change visually as the thorns are plucked, the sight of the “menace” subsiding gives us hope for the future of our planet.

This participatory installation thus becomes a human experiment. Will people become involved and at what level? Each time the installation is erected, is something learned?

*Each spike is made from local clay, dug by the artist and single fired in wood burning kiln.

© Liz Vercruysse