Brett DeBoer—Hay, What have You Done For Me Lately?

Your Assignment:

Your final assignment is your chance to bring together all the sculptural concepts we have been exploring this semester + thinking about how that which we create, as human beings, can relate to the natural environment.

  • Must be site specific
  • Must be primarily made from organic or natural objects/materials. These can be re-formed, combined or altered according to any of the sculptural processes we have been exploring this semester (carving, molding, assemblage, or casting).
  • Concept must be symbolic, have a message, or tell story somehow.

To succeed with this assignment, you will first need to spend some time revisiting the Sculptural Idea. However, there are two major differences with this assignment;

  1. A successful solution to this sculptural problem is much more dependent on the concept you explore and develop.
  2. The final solution, therefore, is actually less about form as it occupies and surrounds space (although that is still a consideration) and more about the choice and arrangement of material within a specific location or site.

These are questions you might ask yourself;

  • How will you develop a concept or message to communicate through this earthworks style of sculpture?
    • What messages are possible? (environmental, personal, psychological, social, industrial, historical, etc.)
  • How does your choice of location or site affect the relative success of your final sculpture?
    • Does this happen because of harmony, or contrast?
  • How does the method of creating the sculpture affect the result?
    • subtractive (carving)
    • additive (assemblage, found object)
    • modeling (clay)
    • casting (bronze, plaster)
  • How do the choices of material, media, working or finishing that material affect the end result?
    • Does this happen because of harmony, or contrast?
    • wood, stone, metal, plastic, etc.
    • smooth, shiny, rough, texture, reflective, etc.
  • How may the use of, or reference to,  cultural symbols, shapes, colors and patterns play a part in the impact of the final piece?
    • religious/spiritual, political. ancient, language, directional, locational, etc.
  • What materials are available to me?
    • onsite (at home) ie. sand, rock, leaves, mud, pebbles, twigs, branches, logs
    • brought to site (from a store or other location to home) ie. fruit, branches, leaves, wood, stone
    • natural elements that are possible to explore; earth, fire, water, wind
  • Can I make mud, cracked earth, layers of material?

You will also need to spend some time researching sculptors who have made a name for themselves working specifically in this area of sculpture. Here are a few:



  • An example of Process

  • Two of the Oldest Earthworks dating from Ancient times

Dating back to 100 B.C., The Condor, one of the 70 plant and animal geoglyphs or “ground drawings” that make up Peru’s Nazca lines have been called the “Eighth Wonder of the World.”

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Located in present-day Wiltshire, England, Stonehenge was first built about 5,000 years ago, and the unique stone circle was erected in the late Neolithic period about 2500 BC.



Student ExamplesIMG_7967IMG_7969


Other Thoughts: