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Recent Acquisitions: Gar Waterman, Feral Seed

Gar Waterman, Feral Seed

Gar Waterman, Feral Seed, 2014, bronze. Commissioned by the Class of 1978 for the Class of 1978 Life Sciences Center Atrium; 2014.75. Photo by Patrick Dunfey.

Hood Quarterly, winter 2015

A member of Dartmouth’s Class of 1978, Gar Waterman is best known for his meticulously hand-crafted sculptures and large-scale public art projects that take their inspiration from natural forms, such as plants, insects, shells, fish, nudibranchs, and other marine creatures. The youngest son of the pioneering oceanographic filmmaker Stan Waterman, Class of 1946, the artist grew up exploring the Maine coast and the barrier reefs of the South Pacific, which he visited between the ages of 9 and 10 with his father, who was filming a National Geographic special. Natural forms remain a mainstay of inspiration for his work, as seen in Feral Seed, a monumental bronze sculpture that was specially commissioned for the atrium of the Class of 1978 Life Sciences Center. Seeds hold an enduring fascination for the artist since they impart the exuberance of life as it germinates and takes root, opens, and pushes out. The seed is both a symbol of beginnings and an end in itself, being the cyclical product of a process that encodes a perfect pattern for life to be carried on to the next generation. “Many of my seed sculptures reflect this pivotal moment of life force,” the artist recently stated, “as seeds split open and new life emerges. I call this particular sculpture Feral Seed, a nod to the inevitable supremacy of nature despite mankind’s best efforts to tame her.” Waterman also considers this sculpture “the fruit of a plant whose roots were nurtured in the Hop’s metal and wood shops when I was an undergrad at Dartmouth. It has been growing for some thirty-five years and I am enormously grateful for the fertile ground that Dartmouth provided me and continues to provide for all its sons and daughters.”

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