The Begats | James Muir
'As humorously quoted by Aldo Leopold: “In the beginning there was John Muir, who begat Aldo Leopold, who begat Gaylord Nelson, who begat Earth Day.”
The initial concept involves a “Socratic” – type discussion between John Muir, Aldo Leopold and Gaylord Nelson.
Muir is standing above the others, in deference to his status as the “founding father” of ecological and conservation awareness. His ubiquitous walking stick, resembling a staff, reflects his being the good “shepherd”, leading humanity through nature’s wilderness.
Leopold is kneeling by his side, as the “student” of John Muir and has just planted a young sapling to replace the one nature has “re-claimed.”
Nelson is seated, cross-legged, Indian fashion on the ground, right hand upon the fallen tree, to denote “Earth Day”, as well as his being the “offspring” of both Muir and Nelson.
All are dressed in the attire most typical of their “working clothes” (this to be more thoroughly researched but photos reflect a possible scenario (eg. Hat, cap with binoculars, and bareheaded respectively).
I have chosen not to seat them on a bench – too urban, nor on tree stumps – too reflective of commercial exploitation, nor even on a rock – too insensitive to the earth. As depicted, they are standing, knealing and sitting by a beaver-cut tree. This selected portrayal, not only pays homage to the symbiotic relationship of all living things in nature, but also provides a central spot for the viewer to sit/stand and feel like an equal participant in the conversation (as well as a great “photo-op”).
The size would need to be just slightly over lifesize (approx. 5-7 ½ ‘) in order to “read” natural for people to “interact” with the sculpture while, at the same time, overcoming the optical illusion “shrinking effect” of actual life-size sculptures in an outdoor setting.
Estimated cost is dependent upon final accepted concept, desired completion date, unique or limited edition and other negotiable factors.- James N. Muir"