Proposal sketch of Living Room, by Nadya Volicer.
Right: Adam Frelin polishes his sculpture, The Mirroring Stone.
Memory, Architecture and Place
EXTENDED through November 30th, 2006.
Artists and Project Descriptions
Click on each artist's name for photograph and statement
Beatty and Mike Newby
Two elegant, whimsical structures combine the Gothic Revival architectural
motifs of Victorian monuments with a typical garden device: the birdhouse.
Birds are ancient symbols of the soul and transition; the artists also
pay tribute to the great variety of birds living at Forest Hills, enlivening
the landscape with motion and song.
The evocative memorials at Forest Hills enable people from the past to
speak to us about their relationships and lives. Halsey Burgund
uses 21st century technology to add a new layer of expression to this
evocative landscape. Using a cell phone or iPod, visitors listen to a
sound collage combining music and processed fragments of conversation
collected by the artist during interviews at Forest Hills.
A symbolic shelter a house outlined in gathered sticks is
filled with growing sunflowers. It contains a single chair, offering an
inviting place for rest and reflection, a haven nestled into the brilliant
color and fragrance of a living garden.
The typical Victorian family lot at Forest Hills is laid out to mimic
both the architecture of the family home and the structure of family relationships,
complete with internal hierarchies and the boundaries that separate one
family from all others. Jay Cummings creates a sculptural diagram of an
iconic family lot using simplified shapes cast in concrete. These elegant
forms will float quietly on the surface of the cemeterys ornamental
lake, where water replaces the green lawn that separates monuments on
Davison and Joan Goody
An artist and architect combine forces to design an open pavilion expressing
their belief that a persons death leaves a gap in the world.
Four corner posts and a spiderweb of wire hold up a translucent gabled
roof. This airy structure defines an empty room, a place that invites
visitors to come to terms with the loss of friends and family.
Many of the works on view refer to Victorian architecture. Frelins
piece draws its inspiration from a very different Boston landmark
the John Hancock Building. His sculpture a single tombstone with
a smooth mirrored surface reflects its surroundings much like the
modern glass skyscraper, a monumental form that, paradoxically, disappears
into its environment.
Miniature houses cast in concrete cluster on a rocky outcropping, creating
a neighborhood. Each house is modeled on the home of someone buried at
Forest Hills. The range of styles, from Queen Anne mansion to modern split
level, reflects the economic and social diversity of the generations of
Bostonians now residing in the Cemeterys grounds.
Gilmore and Sarah Walker
Two architects have planted the seeds for a lush green outdoor room. Over
the course of the exhibition, fast growing vines will cover a simple wire
mesh structure, creating walls of foliage. A picture window opposite the
entrance frames a view of the landscape beyond; an open roof invites connection
with the sky.
A stack of colorful birdhouses, some upside down, some at a jaunty angle,
rises from the reeds of Lake Hibiscus like a crooked totem pole. Whimsical
loops of aluminum piping connect one birdhouse to the next and suggest
energy and flight. The houses will dispense seeds and offer shelter.
Antique doorknockers are mounted on a series of posts 4 to 7 feet tall,
inviting visitors to knock and request entry to an invisible world. Each
post has a distinct resonant tone. The simple ritual of knocking builds
a bridge between past and present, presence and absence, ourselves and
those who have been here before us.
In a shaded space, an intricate Victorian carpet appears to break apart
and rise into the air. It is actually a mosaic made of colorful wood recycled
from demolished houses. Flying fragments dangle on invisible string from
overhanging trees. At the far end of the carpet stands a Victorian armchair.,
where the viewer can sit, surrounded by trees and the ascending fragments.
Nadya Volicer quotes poet Joaquim Cardoza: The
souls flew up from the ground: A flock of little birds.
dwellings, nestled in hidden spaces, offer glimpses of the character and
experience of imagined occupants. Walsh imagines spaces for poets Anne
Sexton and ee cummings, both buried at Forest Hills. Sextons
Room is tucked into a space at the end of a stone wall. Treehive is perched in the branches of a small crab-apple tree. The third dwelling
hides in a niche formed when a large canopy tree
healed. It refers
to the stubborn persistence of what has gone, the history of a person
or place manifested in the physical traces it leaves behind.