Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Process pictures of "Offering" - Suburban Land Art

Since the journey is as important as the destination, I am posting the "making of" my suburban Land Art piece called "Offering."

There is a little piece of nature trapped in the suburban landscape near my house in San Diego, CA. It is a wild artichoke field which is normally almost covered with wild artichoke flowers. It is refreshing to walk in nature without having to drive to some remote place. Seeking out nature in the suburbs draws my attention to the wildness in the land that we take for granted.

One day on a walk, a few months ago, I found that the about half of the field had been cut down.

It looks like someone just drove a tractor right through the main part of the field.

They ran over plants and small trees and left trash in their wake.

It seemed cruel and unnecessary.

So I decided to make an "Offering" to Mother Earth...

In hopes that the destruction that was inflicted would not be the end of the wild artichoke field, my son Xen and I built a nest.

As a mother, "nesting" is very important to me, which is why it shows up so frequently in my work. When you build a nest (literally or figuratively), whether for a bird or for your family at home, you protect the things you love the most. You show them that they are treasured and worth protecting. This nest is an "Offering" to Mother Earth to let her know that she is important.

We gathered fallen branches from all over the field, and started construction. The sound of the wind and us gathering and assembling branches was all I could hear for hours.

After a few hours of construction, the nest was built. Then we gathered cuttings from all over the field to ensure that the plants would survive.

The nest was over 6 feet tall (I am 6'1, so you can judge the height accordingly). The nest's imposing height is meant to dissuade someone from casually destroying it.

My "Offering" to Mother Earth...

Only two weeks later, after a light rain, the field began to sprout again.

I take this a a sign that the "Offering" was accepted.

I hope you have enjoyed my process pictures. I plan to post more pictures of my sculptures in progress.

Artists! I love to see and hear about YOUR process! Please email me, comment on this blog, or friend me on Facebook.

Share not just what you make, but how and why you do it!

- Jaime Lyerly


  1. Jaime, this is beautiful! I love the idea of an offering to heal Mother Earth and your use of the elements to create this wonderful piece of art.

  2. I think this is great. . .also that you brought a participant in the creative process. . he is going to learn so much from you!

  3. Thank you to Cathy and Dia! I appreciate your taking the time to comment.

    I love for my son to be able to participate in the process of making and healing the Earth.

  4. You must be a fan of Andy Goldsworthy. Have you seen his documentary "Rivers and Tides"? You would really love it if you haven't seen it. Good Stuff!

  5. I have seen "Rivers and Tides" and it was very inspiring for this piece. Usually, if I make something from nature, it is moved into an art space to be viewed. This was the first piece that I ever left in its original location.


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