If you’ve visited the Museum Park recently, you may have wondered about the rainbow-striped house … or is it a house? … peeking out of a grassy hillside. The new structure is Heather Hart’s Southern Oracle: We Will Tear the Roof Off, a temporary installation that will be with us through the end of October. Visitors are invited to climb on top of the roof and venture inside, and it will be the site of several community gatherings this summer.
Heather Hart, Southern Oracle: We Will Tear the Roof Off, 2019, mixed-media sculpture installation, dimensions variable, supported by the Hartfield Foundation and Libby and Lee Buck; Courtesy of the artist
The sculpture is intentionally open, welcoming visitors to climb on the roof’s exterior, while the interior provides space for thoughtful engagement and conversation.
The artist allowed Museum staff members and volunteers to paint the lively stripes on the exterior.
Hart's series Oracular Rooftops is an ongoing project of interactive sculptures sited in landscapes so that they appear to be houses half-submerged in the earth. Hart says each work is “an independent rooftop, removed from its house, and dropped from the sky to live its own life in a new context.”
Her site-specific work for the Museum Park is inspired by her family history in North Carolina and by the song “Mothership Connection” by Parliament-Funkadelic. Previous Oracular Rooftops have been presented at Storm King Art Center, the Seattle Art Museum, and the Brooklyn Museum. This project is guest curated by Teka Selman, an independent curator in Durham, N.C.
Watch the video to see the rooftop under construction and to hear Hart and Selman discussing the work.
Also new this summer in the Museum Park is a permanent commissioned sculpture by Seagrove, N.C.–based artist Daniel Johnston.
Daniel Johnston's Untitled sculpture is Installed in a straight line that plays against the rolling landscape of the Museum Park.
Artist Daniel Johnston with his sculptural installation, which includes 183 hand-built, wood-fired ceramic pillars made from Piedmont clay.
Johnston’s untitled installation features 183 hand-built, wood-fired ceramic pillars, varying in height from several inches to over 6 feet, made from Piedmont clay. Installed in a straight line that plays against the rolling landscape of the Museum Park and designed specifically for this site, this sculptural installation brings to the forefront ideas of wall, borders, and boundaries, and how one moves through the world, literally and metaphorically.
The installation is nearly complete. Mark Di Suvero's No Fuss and the Museum's smokestack can be seen in the distant background.
Linda Johnson Dougherty is chief curator and curator of contemporary art at the NCMA.
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