Blithwold Gardens, Bristol, Rhode Island, 1996
Sheaved Swamp was created from thinking of the old New England salt marsh hay, now almost extinct, and, like many of my pieces with the notion of enhancing viewer perception. My intention was to slow their pace and cause them to see rather than to look; to hear, rather than merely listen. Sheaved Swamp was created it in memory of a time when naturally occurring regions, like the salty margins of seaside bays were harvested and allowed to grow again each year. These furnished hay for feed and other uses without disturbing the soil, needing chemical inputs or even seeding. This unexpected manipulation of the small swamp created an element of surprise for viewers. It was a brief vivid moment and as such it had the potential to lodge in the mind and leave residue of the unexpected discovery. This seemed to me like a serendipitous "tiny particle of paradise" (filmmaker Jonas Meeker recently used this phrase) that could be taken away with the viewer into the fast-paced world outside the garden. Memory residue, such as this, may be recalled at any time to soothe, or to open portals of intense experience in other realms.