Valerie Wedel

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Installation Art

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The Search (2006) was an impermanent installation composed of 6,000 hand thrown raw clay "figures" (signifying the 6 billion world population) placed on parched Oklahoma land. Over time, the weather returned these figures back to the earth. The installation represents mass movements of people in harsh conditions, our relationship to the Earth, as well as our fragile nature. The figures were made out of unfired clay to symbolize impermanence and to emphasize the idea that as we come from the Earth, we shall return to it. The images document the conditions and breakdown of the clay figures. As water returned to the area and grass began to grow, the figures crumbled and dissolved; but, with the water and new plant growth came hope for rejuvenation.