Ghillie Dhu’s Enchantment

20’x 12’x 12′ (variable)
Brushed aluminum, stainless (hardware)
$17,000 commission; Keep Gastonia Beautiful
Gastonia, NC

When at rest, Ghillie Dhu’s Enchantment is a glistening tree-like form.  As a breeze sets its “branches” in motion, the irregular, gliding movements suggest something magical.  The “branches” seem as if they will touch, but they pass closely together without contact.  The title refers to a guardian spirit of trees in Scottish folklore.  The Scottish source is appropriate to Gastonia, since many of the area’s original settlers were Scottish.

I have been intrigued by kinetic sculptures since I was a boy.  I even made a few mobiles as a teenager.  I remember seeing mobiles and stabiles by Alexander Calder on trips to museums.  As a young adult I discovered the kinetic sculptures of George Ricky and Lin Emery.  I found the movements in their sculptures to be captivating.  When I began making sculptures I didn’t have the means to produce outdoor metal pieces, but I used wood to make numerous mobiles. Ghillie Dhu’s Enchantment was my first large-scale kinetic sculpture.