December 2, 2013
by Masayuki Nagase, Sculptor, Passage of Wind and Water
Main Street Square Sculpture Project, Badlands Stone Tapestry Garden, Stones #5-#7
Stone #5: Fairburn Agate
When I started doing this project, I visited the Journey Museum and the Museum of Geology at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology. I discovered the Fairburn Agate and I was struck by its natural beauty. I learned that these mysterious gem formations carry an essence and record of the ancient geologic history of over 250 to 300 million years ago. They are typically found in the Black Hills, Badlands and surrounding grasslands area. I was impressed with these miraculous creations of nature and I decided to integrate their patterns into my design.
Stone #6: Living in Balance
The design concept for Stone #6 is based on the close relationships between Native Americans and animals living in balance in the Badlands. The archeological researchers found traces of human activity here from over 1,000 years ago. The Badlands was an important hunting ground for the Lakota people. One day when I was camping at the Sage Creek Campground at the Badlands National Park, I saw several bison nearby. As I observed them grazing peacefully in the growing dawn light from the hills behind, I tried to envision when there were hundreds of thousands of bison roaming in this grassland. The images in the design come from this essential connectedness between human beings and animals.
Stone #7: Aquifer- Hidden Source of Life
The Stone #7 has an existing small water element and I envisioned how to work with the theme of water in my design. On the surface, the Badlands region looks apparently arid with little life, but it actually has a rich variety of flora and fauna. A hidden source of life is the underground water. Water is not plentiful but there is enough to sustain many lives. Various kind of grasses thrive in this land by sending more than half of their tissues and roots underground. I was amazed to learn that one square yard of prairie sod can contain 5 miles of roots. Water as a hidden source of life is the basis of the design for this stone.
(See more photos of completed stones in our Facebook album.)