Dragon’s Tail

Freedman Gallery, Albright College, Reading PA, USA

This show, “Timeframes”, was a curated group exhibition, with the title of Lycia Trouton’s piece being “The Dragon’s Tail.” Rammed Earth, 126 ft X 11 ft X 4 ft, was compiled thanks to over 100 juvenile offenders, community members and students, creating this piece of public art. It was conceptualized with a story to tell of the changes brought to the land, in PA, by a newly constructed freeway and sound barrier wall adjacent. The “tail” of the dragon symbolizes the change/chaos of a dragon’s energy as is symbolic in Oriental lore. The juxtaposition of the hard concrete against this earthwork creation and the ‘soft’ earthwork sculpture, highlights the aspects of our own strength and mortality. This sculpture was in place for two years, during which time it gradually disintegrated back into the earth.

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Made ‘by hand’ by what some have called an early form of post-millennium ‘craftivism.’ This land art piece was constructed by making walls, formed from a slurry of earth, then compressed in ‘formwork’ (which was then removed). This project encompassed several hundred hours of human labour and the moving of hundreds of tons of earth and reforming them.

Senior artists who also showed in this exhibition were Rebecca Horn, Michael Snow and others with historic imagery by Eadweard Muybridge, the English photographer known for his photographic and revolutionary studies of motion at this time.

The catalogue essay for “Timeframes” was done by the renowned Donald B Kuspit.

Acclaimed leader in the contemporary public art scene in New York, USA, Doris C. Freedman, founded the Freedman Gallery in 1976, where this show was held. The Freedman Gallery has since consistently housed, high calibre contemporary artists, “such as sculptor Mary Miss, Jim Dine, Louise Nevelson and Frank Stella, among others.”