Savoring the pleasures of home was rewarding, but I miss seeing new places and having adventures with far-flung friends.
I was mindful that, with winter’s approach and Covid still with us, life was about to get even more circumscribed.
So I hatched a plan with two Philadelphia-area friends to meet partway between there and northwest Connecticut for a day at the end of October.
Our last adventures were in Florida, January 2020. There was news on the radio about a new virus far away in China…
The last time I visited Storm King Art Center in Mountainville, NY, outdoor sculptures were displayed on acres and acres of manicured lawn.
That was a long time ago, before landscape architect Darrel Morrison got to work reshaping the experience of place with swaths of tall native meadow grasses.
I have attended Morrison’s design presentations. He plays an inspiring piece of classical music and dancelike, starts drawing in response to a large printout of a site plan. Those initial drawings are dynamic, gestural, powerful.
Visiting Storm King was like stepping into one of his drawings.
The meadow plantings move. They reveal and conceal, shape the way you move through space and how you experience both land and sculptures, intensify the topography.
Interacting with Artwork
We walked, tracing Andy Goldsworthy’s sinuous Storm King Wall (Five Men, Seventeen Days, Fifteen Boulders, One Wall), inspecting galaxies of lichens on the stones.
And we marveled at Sarah Sze’s Fallen Sky, a disc of clay, of earth eroded and transcribed in polished steel, embedded in a grassy hillside.
The fragments reflect nearby woods and the constantly changing sky. I could have stood there rocking from foot to foot, watching the changing reflections all day.
It was mesmerizing.
Long, rambling, questioning, discovering conversations with old friends on a bench overlooking Maya Lin’s Storm King Wavefield (photo above).
This site-specific artwork transformed a gravel pit used in the New York Thruway’s construction into an undulating sea of grass-covered earth.
As we sat, light from a stormy sky broke into soft sunshine, transforming the entire landscape, lifting my spirits for days and days.
New ways of looking at the world, together for a rare and precious day – what could possibly be better?