Institutions

Earth works

Lorcan 1 min read

One of the most interesting things we have seen while in the US is the Serpent Mound in southern Ohio, reputedly the largest effigy earthworks in the world.

Atop a plateau overlooking the Brush Creek Valley, Serpent Mound is the largest and finest serpent effigy in the United States. Nearly a quarter of a mile long, Serpent Mound apparently represents an uncoiling serpent. [OHS – Places – Serpent mound]

We have also enjoyed visiting the Newark Earthworks, East of Columbus.

The Great Circle is one part of the Newark Earthworks State Memorial, the largest system of connected geometric earthworks built anywhere in the world. Octagon Earthworks and Wright Earthworks are both additional local sites that preserve other features of this majestic remnant of prehistoric Ohio. [OHS – Places – Newark Earthworks]

It is hard to convey the impression these earthworks make, massive fabricated parts of the landscape.
The Serpent Mound was mentioned in yesterday’s New York Times. The context was an article about the Storm King Wavefield, a permananent landscape sculpture by artist and architect Maya Lin, perhaps still best known for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C.

Born in 1959, Ms. Lin was raised in rural Ohio, and as a child visited the great Serpent Mound and other American Indian earthworks in the Midwest. [NYT – Art review – Storm King Wavefield]

Here is what the NYT says about the work …

But the piece is already a classic. It has the gravity of Ms. Lin’s commemorative sculptures and the sociability of the earlier “wave” pieces, which lent themselves to picnics, play and privacy. And, more immediately than almost any of her other outdoor projects, it is inextricable from nature, which is where, as I say, all her art starts. [NYT – Art review – Storm King Wavefield]

Check out the slideshow and video showing the Storm King Wavefield and other work by Maya Lin.
We will have to make a trip …

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