Give Take Shelter


Documentary participtatory sculpture made during the lambing season of 2021 on the Dickinson College Farm.

Collaboration with Danielle Moser

This structure was originally built by Danielle Moser to house two lambs and then adapted as an interactive, temporary artwork. The ewe who birthed the lambs had a difficult labor with triplets, which resulted in the rejection of two who then required bottle-feeding. During its original installation, the shelter was regularly refreshed, semi-deconstructed, and reconstructed as the lambs strengthened and adapted to their caregivers and temporary living space. In the act of caring for meat- and wool-producing animals, we were at once giving and taking.


Throughout each day, we’d enter the shelter through a straw-insulated doorway to feed the lambs at regular intervals. At night, a heat lamp made the whole structure glow a deep red-orange. It was illuminated for passing cars to see, which essentially presented the work to the public. I was often on night-feeding duty, and it was my first sighting of the glowing structure that made me view it as a public sculpture. The contrast between day and night was aesthetically striking, and with this evocative color its purpose became obvious.


Although temporary during its initial use, this sculpture could easily be recreated due to the availability of the materials with which it was constructed. This ability to recreate this piece speaks to a key similarity I’ve identified between my work and farming: reuse and scavenge of useful materials.


plastic calf structure, 3 bales of straw, water dish, water jug, wire, 2 bungees, extension cord, plastic tub, compressed cardboard sheet, vinyl remnant, binder clips