Reflections Box: An Alaska Shoreline – Collaboration with Courtney Lipson

Western Red Cedar, Pigments, Micro-Mosaic
“Scott has taken many expressive photographs of Southeast Alaska’s shoreline; often at times of low wind and no current, the reflection of land on water is perfectly mirrored. The symmetry of the landscape leads us to ponder the symmetry in the art forms that the First Peoples of the coast developed. In our life traveling the coastline we’ve found pieces of driftwood and rocks that are formline in nature. In the sense of fractals, we imagine the rocks along the shore expressing formline. This idea is one that Scott has wanted to express in a literal way in his art, so together we worked out a way to combine realism with the abstract.

Last year while in Hoonah, AK, friends took us on an evening hike through a beautiful forest, crossing streams to overlook a large open meadow with more trees in the background. All of a sudden we could hear a strange huffing sound which seemed amplified by the open spaces, and reflected back from the trees. We realized we were listening to whales breathing in the bay beyond the forest. That sensory memory, as well as other times gathering cedar bark, berries, and moss for dyeing, were present while painting this box.

Before we even started this piece we wanted to have some part of our exhibit speak to clean water, the pristine places we have been, and our hope that those places will be preserved and protected. We called this box “the Water Box” before it had really been conceived, and thought of the Tlingit legends of Petrel, who kept water in a box. It was Raven who tricked Petrel out of that box of water, flying off  with it in his beak, spilling it as he flew; making rivers, lakes, and streams.”