'Cathedral' on the French mountainside



A year after installing his outdoor string sculpture, "Crepuscule" (String Theorist, July 16, 2009), which was part of Green Mountain Falls' Green Box Arts Festival last year, Sean McGinnis has completed his second large-scale string sculpture outdoors.

  • Sean McGinnis
  • 'Cathedral.'

"Cathedral" hangs in the mountains of central France through September, one of 11 selected to appear in this year's Horizons - Rencontre "Arts Nature" exhibit in Massif de Sancy. McGinnis' installation landed him mentions in Le Monde, France's largest newspaper, and Artension, an art industry magazine.

inside Cathedral
  • Sean McGinnis
  • Inside 'Cathedral.'

This is the artist's description of his newest "web," excerpted from his press release:

Entitled "Cathedral" it "draws" in three dimensions a gothic naive along the path of a massive ash tree forest using branches and rocks as it's only points of attachment. Constructed by hand over three weeks, it follows the form of its emplacement, organically reflecting the architecture of the surrounding woods. The bright orange and pale blue industrial cords contrast against the environment yet remain in the same sorbet color palette of the tree's limegreen branches and whitish branches. The blue twine was recycled from local farmers who use it to bind hay bales.

The work is massive in dimension but fine in its detail. The eye catches the subtly of delicate line against the forest canopy. As the viewer moves through it, the form and spacial relationships change. As the sunlight passes behind a cloud, the form can disappear, when it reappears the light can define the support structure, or tunneled archway. 15x9x7m in dimension, it is built near the ground so that the viewer can enter into it and experience it surrounded by it.

looking up
  • Sean McGinnis
  • Looking up.

In a region as vast as Massif de Sancy, McGinnis' spiral enchants only a short stretch of forest. But if "Cathedral" is anything like "Crepuscule," it's bound to be breathtaking nonetheless.

rock weights
  • Sean McGinnis
  • Rock weights.

By the way: "'Crepuscule' is no more," McGinnis wrote in an e-mail when I told him I planned to stop by and see it a few weeks ago. He says it was removed in March after losing a battle with a snowstorm.

Here's to hoping Mother Nature will be more kind to "Cathedral" ...

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