together forever/forever together

site-specific dirt, rocks, leaves

scrap wood, rope, artifacts

2021

Installed at the Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Museum, facing away from Martha Jefferson Hospital.

Poetry by Maggie Weaver

 
 

together forever/forever together is a site-specific installation created primarily through the acts of removal and displacement. In digging four-foot-deep double graves, shovelfuls of dirt accumulate and mix from two individual plots to form one, unified mound. On alternating sides of each grave, there is an earthen staircase that runs down from the ground-level surface, inviting viewers to descend. The space at the bottom of each grave is covered in rocks that were excavated and collected during the digging process. Shovel blade indentations scarring interior grave walls serve as a physical reminder of removal, insinuating a kind of artistic mark making that can only be manifested through absence.


Around the installation perimeter, there are six wooden stakes that each hold an engraved poem written by Maggie Weaver, a creative writer and conservationist. Serving as both an entrance and exit to double graves, Maggie’s poems “accentuate nature’s interwoven fate with humans.” This poetry fence demarcates both a physical and sacred boundary, indicating a multilayered shift in place.


In October 2021, a closing ceremony for the installation was held. Attendees were invited to create a personal clay artifact. Artifacts were then cast in plaster and buried in the graves during the site restoration process. Dirt from the earthen mound has been shoveled back into the graves, fully immersing the staircase underground. Grass has been planted on top of the filled graves to complete site restoration.