Uprooted

Ex Natura IIKrakamarken Nature sculpture Park, Randers, Jutland, Denmark,1994
wood, all joints notched and pegged, thatching, uprooted trees, boulders, 12 x 5' 10'

I created Uprooted as an homage to the uprooting of craft, worldwide, and too as a self- portrait. I was in the process of moving my home from the Berkshire Hills in northwestern Massachusetts to Kansas City and keenly felt the sense of myself being uprooted.

From Krakamarken: Land Art as Process edited by Jorn Ronnau

With her work, Uprooted from 1994, Karen McCoy has created a new image. An elaborately and magnificently executed icon that reveals the human being for what we are: a combination of culture and nature. Homo sapiens as a cultural being with roots like trees. Underneath the earth, we are still nature. But you can't see this until we are uprooted.

The work is site-specific in its very idea. With a great deal of humor, Karen McCoy takes her mark in one very prominent natural phenomenon at Krakamarken: The wind. The artwork is also specifically Danish, with the artist's choice of the typically Danish thatched roof. A roofing of local natural materials, which is still being utilized in the present day.

The sculpture, with this touch, is also telling us loud and clear that, as a matter of fact, it wasn't so long ago that we were still using natural materials for everything in our everyday.

Uprooted is made out of spruce trunks, gathered together with wooden dowels, thatched with reeds, and held together by wood tarred hemp yarn and hazel sticks and replete with a ridge of heather and corbel-wood of oak. Karen McCoy has created what is both a universally valid and site-specific work, which moreover relates profoundly to personal changes in her own life. 

The decaying processes contribute continuously to altering the work's expression from the humorously beautiful in the direction of the tougher, the more worn, the irrevocable. In 2001 the sculpture has caved in to a considerable extent and has become quite dark in color. The deer are tearing straw out and a wren has built a nest in the thatched roof.

Uprooted links itself with two other works by Karen McCoy in Denmark, found at TICKON, Langeland.