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Artist/Naturalist Pages
Peter Adams
1946 -

Peter Adams is a Sculptor and Deep Ecologist in Tasmania, where he has created a magnificent refuge for sanity and peace named Windgrove. Peter has a passion for carving wood and making of wood inviting places where people can converse. Windgrove is all about invitation toward what we can be in harmony with place. Peter's deep connection with the land he cares for shapes him, as does the surf of Roaring Beach below, where Peter finds himself immersed each day. Below is a sampling of Windgrove images.

Dropstones Bench, huon pine and stones
Cathedral Bench, huon pine
Peace Garden
Dialogue Bench
Spirals and Stone Bench
Forest Bench
Zen Bench, huon pine and beach stones
The Walk
fence
Fence, huon pine and myrtle
Five Sticks, One Stone Bench
Roaring Beach

Windgrove also includes a literal refuge where those in residence have "An opportunity to see the sacred self within the reality of a sacred earth." One person may be in residence at a time.

Peter has an incredible "breadth" of humanity. He is restoring the hundred acres that are Windgrove. He is active in his community, trying to keep the Tasmanian forests from being chipped and shipped. He is powerfully connected to many around the globe who are acting to help the earth. Many of these connections come from his repeated tenures at Schumacher College in Devon, England, a centre for ecological studies.

You can see his breadth for yourself in his online journal, here. Please take the opportunity to visit the main Windgrove website as well.

Peter as artist is unusually willing to share his process. From his online journal, here are a few stages of a recent sculpture:

Sculpture in process
the complements separated, detail
Spiral Still Life whole
the complements separate
Still Life 2.1
Still Life 2 Detail

 

In His Own Words

The spiral -- to me it represents a plant form coming out of the ground after its gestation period and ascendancy, and it's about hope....

This piece is only half finished. The next (somewhat courageous) step is to take the huon pine base and place it outdoors and let the wind, rain and sun do their thing for a year or more. The unblemished quality of today’s piece will age substantially in the next few months. That smooth “skin” will crack, will become blemished and will “age” a weathered grey.

As with my own life and as a matter of principle, I will refuse to “botox” away the cracks, exfoliate the blemishes or bleach out the greying process of life.

Next year at this time this sculpture, with its patina of “elderness”, will be even more beautiful than it is today.

Eros does not only shine through the eyes of the young. Firmness of character and perky maturity does wonders for love.

Now, if I can only figure out a way to keep the possums from chewing on the wood.

I can’t begin to tell you...how much satisfaction I receive out of the sensate quality of nature. Every time I split open a long bean pod and find within an encased row of beautifully packaged beans all nestled together, I marvel at the wonder of it all.

Nor can I begin to tell you how much satisfaction I receive out of trying to mimic, through my carving, these sensual, organic forms of nature. Today, when the seed-like spiral myrtle wood was snugly eased into the enveloping fruity womb of the huon pine, it was a magic moment.

Peter on Tasmanian Forestry (Government agency), excerpt:

How can Forestry Tasmania ignore the concerns of the Tasmanian, Australian and international community?

What allows a few men the legislative power to destroy the dreams of so many people, and turn the gold of Tasmania into lead? Fundamentally, it is a simple case that those in positions of stewardship of Tasmania's forests are heartless.

Tasmania is not Wizard of Oz terrority and I wouldn't expect the Tin Men of this state to ever regain their hearts, but I do take heart that the collective pain of those people in the audience for the Southwood Symposium will continually be harnessed to propel us all into civil disobedience in order to protect that which is being destroyed.
We will constantly bear witness to the desecration of our forests, our jobs and our communities. We will constantly remain a thorn in the side of Forestry Tasmania and the government.

The men in grey suits might remain heartless and seemingly without emotion, but squeeze their balls hard enough and they'll squirm.

When I first came upon this 100 acres of property the wildness of it excited me to no end. That's why I came to Tasmania to begin with and left America. I have been here for 14 years. The primitive quality of the landscape just is overwhelming. There's also associated a real sadness with that when I look and see what is happening to our forests here. There's no excuse for governments to continually clear-fell old growth forests. So as an artist I feel compelled to do what I can to rectify that situation.

This 100 acres...I'm slowly trying to turn it into a sort of sculpture garden. This pathway we're on is almost 2 kilometres long and what I've done over the years is place benches, benches of contemplation, benches that allow you to sit down and communicate... That's why I started on this series of benches. In order to create icons of the natural world.

I think the human markings on the landscape can be good and interesting. We don't always have to think, "Oh, that's wilderness, we can't touch it". Humans are natural. We are of the natural world. We have a right and an obligation to be talking and walking on the land. But we shouldn't defeat it. In Alaska where I lived for seven years the Eskimos and Innuits had a practice of stacking up rock cairns so that when they walked their lonely walks from village to village, camp site to camp site, they would be reminded by these little cairns that there are humans, past and present, along there. I think we need that, we can't just isolate ourselves from each other which we tend to do.

All of us, especially those elders among us; those with a few more years of experiencing life in its fullness; those who have been at the forefront of environmental and social change; and those of us who have touched the void before and have come back with a deeper wisdom.... we have to remain virile in body and spirit. We can never give up on the spreading of seeds of change.

This is a cry from the heart of hearts asking us all to embrace the day, feet planted into the earth with arms thrust upward into the sky and beyond to the stars. Let fly into the air seeds of hope, stories of love, words of delight for all things green, all creatures great and small. Constantly sing up the earth. Breathe in fear and despair and blow out a never ending stream of activity, of decent activity. And the stronger our exhale, the further our seeds will travel.

It is true that in our lifetime we might not see the fruit of the seeds we have planted. But it is so very important to keep planting them, despite what seem hopeless odds; despite the seeming unjustness of it all; despite just wanting to curl up in bed and face the wall. If we're in the "wilderness" for a few more years, so be it.

Explore Further

Windgrove Homepage

Life on the Edge: Peter Adams' Weblog

Schumacher College,
an international centre for ecological studies


 

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