He creates short-lived pieces, and few permanent works, out in the field, using the materials (leaves, driftwood, ice, pigments made from plant and minerals) at hand.
Some observations about why I think he’s good at it:
- He embraces Wabi Sabi.
He’s not afraid of screwups.
In one scene in the film, he’s building an elaborate, chaotic latticework out brambles and thorns. He talks about how he likes to build out to the edge of stability. The structure buckles and he tries to keep it together. It fails. Brambles fall, and he facepalms.
Earlier, we see him building a pine cone shaped monolith out of pieces of slate-like rock on a beach in Novia Scotia. He’s racing to get it done before the tide comes in. By the time he’s done, he will had made five tries to build it.
He can find order in what appears to be the chaotic.
His leaf pieces delight me. He will sort through fallen leaves on the forest floor, and cover a small puddle with a blanket of leaves in a color gradient, shading from purple, back to yellow.
In another construction, he organized a line of stones along the bottom of a shallow, fast moving stream. He sought out stones contrasting with the uniform grey and created a subtle line of color running below and perpendicular to the current.
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