On 16 August 2019, an environmental art object “The Stone Boat” by Carl Billingsley (USA) was opened at Pedvale Art Park.
From 23 July to 18 August, the American artist Carl Billingsley worked at the Artist Residency of Pedvale Art Park. During the residency, a 30 m long, 10 m wide and 2.5 m high environmental art object “The Stone Boat” was created.
The artist tells about his artwork: “The concept of the environmental art object “The Stone Boat” is made up of several thematic layers – history, geology and the man’s eternal desire to create and explore. I used two materials – stones and gabion meshes. Stones entered Latvia during the Ice Age with glaciers from Scandinavia. They dwell deep in the land of Latvia, and farmers, when cultivating the land, have been picking them up and piling them in the fields for centuries. I have used this ancient, natural material, combining it in the artwork with modern material – gabion meshes. In this construction, the stones form lines and layers again, just like the soil, layer by layer. The shape of the object is similar to a boat. I was inspired by the ancient Viking burials seen in Kurzeme – Devil’s Boats. The Vikings were not only conquerors but also explorers of the world. In a way, they were kind of explorers and travellers. They have left visual signs in the territory of Latvia – a testimony of human movement and migration. My work of art is also a sign in the landscape of Pedvale Art Park. And finally, this environmental art object creates an amphitheater-like space. It is a wall that does not divide and separate, but invites people to gather and unite. I hope that in the future this will be a space for different cultural events and celebrations. I would love to have a common singing here because I know the importance of the choir singing tradition in Latvian culture.”