Pan Appalachian Defender

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Kentucky Artist Completes New Environmental Sculpture “The Agony of Gaia”

Kentucky artist Jeff Chapman-Crane has recently completed a new work entitled “The Agony of Gaia”. Originating from the Greek, “Gaia” is the personification of Mother Earth. Unlike most of his work, which is two-dimensional, this piece is a life-sized, figurative sculpture that depicts Mother Earth suffering the abuse of strip-mining. Created in response to the devastation brought about by such mining practices as mountaintop removal and valley fills, the sculpture took over 1500 hours to complete, spanning over 16 years in its creation.
“I believe the earth is a living thing,” Chapman-Crane states. “I wanted to do a piece that conveyed the torment she must feel when she is abused in this way.”
The sculpture depicts a woman lying on her side in a fetal position, her face covered by hands drawn tight in pain and agony. Her head rests on a moss-covered rock, and her upper body is cloaked with foliage and trees. The tears dripping from her eyes form a mountain stream flowing beneath her. Behind her is a painted panel, permanently attached as a backdrop, depicting distant mountains and a sky gradually changing from clear to very stormy and threatening.


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