Some time ago, Marella Consolini of the Chinati Foundation alerted us to the poignant sculpture of artist Jane Hammond. Since it is about fall and leaves, it seems the perfect time to post it. Called Fallen, Hammond’s installation comprises leaves: “each unique handmade leaf has been inscribed by the artist with the name of a U.S. soldier killed in Iraq.”
The work started with 4229 leaves; Hammond continued to add leaves and names as the war went on. We find that the work has greatly expanded our view of fall/change/life, and especially, what happens when we really focus our attention on something. Hammond describes it well in her Artist’s Statement:
There is something about leaves in the autumn, at the zenith of their coloration that is transcendent: they are both dematerializing and intensifying simultaneously. As their bodies become lighter, their color is becoming more and more intense. I’ve tried to gather leaves just at this moment when the chroma is so strong it transcends the body of the leaf and becomes a kind of pure light. It does rhyme with the idea of “the spirit” but I think in a way that is accessible and earthly…
…One of the things that has been interesting for me is how much more particular leaves have become for me—like the lives themselves. I see them now as such individuals. It is a kind of miracle how attention to something makes it so much more interesting.
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