Isabella Thorndike Church


About the Installation

Site Location: Mt. Ashland
Title: Elemental

During my many walks out in the woods, I am often struck by the places where branches and entire trunks create graceful, arching forms. Whether for ceremony, domestic beautification, or structure, humans across the globe also create arching forms.

Modern humanity has caused untold destruction, in large part by seeing ourselves as separate from the natural world.

Through Elemental I use both manufactured and wild materials—rebar, lichen and branches—to create an archway that welcomes visitors to walk through, around and sit below its curves. The piece implores humans to see themselves and the natural world as essential constituents of one another.

About the Artist

Isabella Thorndike Church is an artist who grew up with the CSNM in her backyard, although it wasn’t a monument until she was eleven years old. Her medium is natural, local flora materials such as sticks, flowers, weeds, grass etc. She creates both indoor and outdoor installations which may resemble a chandelier or an organic configuration crawling up and emerging from the wall. As a profession, she is commissioned to execute floral and plant designs and builds for celebrations and ceremonies. With opportunities to engage in gallery spaces, this becomes immersive, larger than life installations that are site specific environments.

Connect with the Artist


Artist Statement

Everything I do begins in the field and the woods. There, the colors and textures of the natural world arrange themselves according to the seasons. I believe that local, seasonal flora, collected or cultivated responsibly, are healthy for us and for the earth. Each piece is a conversation with the nature of carefully selected materials, their arrangement determined through form and structure as much as through manipulation. Through the resulting design I hope to evoke a sense of place, time and wonder.

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