Public art installation by Boston sculptor Leslie Wilcox on the grounds of the historic Jason Russell House in Arlington Cultural District
The Arlington Commission for Arts and Culture and the Arlington Historical Society have collaborated to bring contemporary art by the accomplished Boston sculptor Leslie Wilcox to the grounds of the historic Jason Russell House. Wilcox has selected six of her distinctive steel mesh sculptural “garments” – developed over the last 20 years – to create an evocative installation for the Jason Russell House entitled Arboreal Attire.
Inspired by fashions of the 19th and early 20th centuries, Wilcox embodies the people who may have passed through the grounds of this historic family residence, built over 270 years ago in the 1740s. At the same time, she seeks to reveal the idiosyncratic character of six individual trees. Her sculpture aims to captures a hybrid presence, part human and part force of nature. Memories of the past and the qualities of historic fashion unite with the shapes and spirits of the trees themselves to bring a diverse cast of characters to a forested space.
Wilcox’s sculptures look delicate, even ephemeral. In reality her gowns and jackets are tailored from tough, durable stainless steel mesh. Her Arlington installation required weeks of demanding work, hoisting pieces of translucent metal up into each tree, wrapping and draping the sculptural garments around massive trunks, and carefully stapling seams into place, ensuring that the trees are not harmed in the process.