Monday, August 11, 2008

Chris Drury's "Cloud Pool Chamber"

Humans have relied upon natural materials and environmental resources to sustain and shelter themselves for millennia. With this in mind, Chris Drury began construction of Cloud Pool Chamber in the Sierra Nevada foothills in May 2008—a project supported by the Nevada Museum of Art and the FOR-SITE Foundation, an artist residency program based in Nevada City, California. Drury designed the structure, giving special attention to the historical and cultural significance of the site where it would be placed, as well as the materials from which it would be built.
Made from diseased logs felled at Donner Memorial State Park near Truckee, Cloud Pool Chamber was first installed in a wooded ravine adjacent to granite boulders and towering oak trees in Nevada City, California. Located nearby were numerous Native American mortar stones used by indigenous Maidu peoples to grind acorns into flour. Recognizing that humans have long made marks on the Earth in an ongoing effort to survive—whether in the form of grinding stones used for daily sustenance or nuclear craters resultant from military defense testing—Drury hand-carved a crater in a large granite stone and placed it beneath the opening of the Cloud Pool Chamber. He then filled it daily with a tea made from acorns that reflected passing clouds overhead. Drury’s videos, based on the cratered granite stone and the indigenous mortar stones, are on view in the nearby video gallery.
In June 2008, Cloud Pool Chamber was transported to its current site on the roof of the Nevada Museum of Art, where a hand-carved granite stone is filled daily with ink-colored water that reflects the dramatic cloud formations passing over the Museum.