Elizabeth Long Lingo – My garden withstands the storms

(Faculty Submission)

Theme: Identity, Agency, and Optimism in a Pandemic

Medium: Metal Sculpture

Artist Statement:

I have found my new creative passion–welding—especially creating nature-inspired art from discarded scrap metal and rusted rebar. While I had hoped to forge new designs in WPI’s machine shop this spring, I instead had to find a new way to manifest my creative identity, agency and optimism in a pandemic. Lacking the welding tools at home, I turned to growing a hybrid garden. At the beginning of spring, I “planted” these metal flowers, along with a riot of colorful seedlings—zinnias, cliome, petunias, black-eyed susans, and morning glories. Over late spring and summer, I nurtured the flowers as they intertwined and grew together—the metal flowers supporting the growing starts as they reached further heights; the flowers providing vibrant beauty in contrast to the increasingly rusted metal. This short video captures my garden at the height of this COVID summer, when we were hit with tropical storm (!) winds—you can hear the wind roaring in the background. I captured the flowers swaying together wildly in the wind—yielding in the moment to the wind’s force yet regaining their center as each gust moved on.