2019 Regional Artist in Residence Justin Roberts is a Kentucky Crafted Artist from Murray, Kentucky specializing in the rare folk art of bent-wood willow furniture. Roberts arrived in early August to create a conceptual, environmentally sound, social, eco-land-art installation made from bent willow branches. With help from Bernheim volunteers, this installation connects its audience with the natural world through an interactive and multi-sensory experience. “Sounds of a Whippoorwill – Bernheim” is meant to bring awareness to the Eastern Whippoorwill, whose environment is continually encroached upon by invasive plant species. The installation was built by first using harvested invasive species collected from the arboretum and completed by wrapping with native willow. The work highlights a long term Whippoorwill research project at Bernheim, which is the best remaining habitat in Kentucky.
“Sounds of a Whippoorwill – Bernheim” will work in conjunction with another installation, “Sounds of a Whippoorwill – Josephine” that was recently completed at the Josephine Sculpture Park in Frankfort, Ky. Connecting these installments encourages the public to seek out the individual parts, creating a common interest in both organizations. Each installment is site-specific and unique but clearly connected.
You can find this work on the far side of Lake Nevin. 36 volunteers worked on this project and 35 Bradford pear, over 300 autumn olive and bush honeysuckle (invasive species) were removed in the making, all wrapped with 2000 willow saplings.