Environmental Art Installation by Roy Staab at Garrison Institute

Documentary paired with unveiling of bamboo sculpture​

The Garrison Institute will combine the first viewing of a site-specific bamboo sculpture created by Roy Staab on its riverfront lawn with a screening and discussion of a documentary: Journey of The Universe, which explores the links between scientific discoveries and humanistic instincts. Both events will take place on May 30, with a public viewing of the sculpture at 6:30 p.m. and the screening at 7:15 p.m.

Bamboo Two by Roy Staab

“Bamboo Two” by Roy Staab

Roy Staab is a leading practitioner in the field of environmental art. At its essence, Staab’s work is simple to describe: he makes artworks in nature from nature, using only the materials that the natural world provides.

Incorporating Buddhist principles of transience and immateriality directly into his work, Staab creates ephemeral pieces at specific points in a given landscape which, while formally intricate and geometrically inspired, leave little to no impact on that landscape and last only as long as the materials themselves. His materials often include reeds, grasses, twine, hand-woven ropes of hemp, stone, snow, and the earth itself; in this case, the primary material will be bamboo from the Garrison Institute’s grounds.

It is basically ‘post and lintel’ construction technique, held together with bamboo pegs. The work is made to fit the sit and the horizontal line is approximately seven feet off the ground. It is about 32 feet wide by 64 feet long using 16-foot bamboo.

In a career spanning three decades, Staab has made works around the globe, from his native Milwaukee to cities such as New York, Tokyo, Borgo Valsugana, and most recently, New Orleans. Staab’s works are large in scale, often 60 feet or more in size. When he designs and constructs a piece, he sketches it out, assembles the materials, builds it, films it or photographs it, and leaves it there to fall apart or rot.

His creations are born of the materials and the local cultures of the places he visits. The delicate nature of the materials and the relentless tug of ​gravity, which inevitably destroys them, serve as reminders of the fragile and transitory nature of life.

Journey of the Universe: An Epic Story of Cosmic, Earth, and Human Transformation connects such big picture issues as the birth of the cosmos ​14 billion years ago, the invisible frontiers of the human genome, and our current impact on Earth’s evolutionary dynamics.  Journey of the Universe seeks to guide viewers to discover the profound role they play in this intricate web of life.

This one-of-a-kind film was written by Yale University historian of religions Mary Evelyn Tucker and acclaimed author and evolutionary ​philosopher Brian Swimme. Together they weave a tapestry that draws together scientific discoveries in astronomy, geology, biology, ecology, and biodiversity with humanistic insights concerning the nature of the universe. A discussion with Mary Tucker and John Grim, senior lecturers and research scholars at Yale, and John Grim, follows the screening, accompanied by refreshments.

Roy Staab is being presented in conjunction with ecoartspace, an organization dedicated to raising environmental awareness through the arts.

These events are free and open to the public. No reservations are required, but Garrison Institute asks that you RSVP so they can anticipate attendance. For more information or to RSVP, call 845-424-4800 or email [email protected].

Photo courtesy of ecoartspace

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