August 20, 2013
by Masayuki Nagase
The first two completed stones in Passage of Wind and Water were revealed today. The safety barrier around the artist's work site came down this afternoon. Visitors now have an up-close view and can touch Badlands Tapestry Garden stones numbers 8 and 9. A new barrier has been erected around the next set of stones to be carved.
Below, sculptor Masayuki Nagase describes in detail the inspiration and design concept behind stone number 9.
I was struck by the incredible beauty of the Badlands when I first visited more than 25 years ago. When developing the design concept, I began by re-visiting the Badlands and being in the landscape. I experienced the geological formations and felt the great span of space and eons of time. I also visualized the vast span of time and felt the energy of the life that strived in this region, the countless extinct species that once lived there. I also felt the energy of the continuous cycle of life, the power of nature that is continually transforming.
The design for Badlands stone number 9 explores the nature of this region when it was under the sea known as the Western Interior Seaway that covered the Great Plains. I wanted to bring awareness to the ancient life in this infinite geological time span. Fossils are witness and evidence of this ancient past, they connect us to the history of life on this planet. I also worked with the energy of wind and how it was continually exposing and changing the landforms in the Badlands.
I chose varied fossils from this period to integrate into my design. They have natural forms that I find beautiful and intriguing. One can see in the stone the forms of ancient mollusks such as an Ammonite and Bivalves. Also there are traces of the Mosasaur, the ancient reptile and the ancient Bulldog Fish: Xiphactinus audax. These creatures were also interconnected in the chain of life during that period. All of these fossils are found in this region. I explored the SDMT geology museum and the Journey Museum as a part of my research for developing my design.
The artist supplied the following links to follow for more information about elements of the design for stone number 9.