Lamb Hut

Sculpture by Danielle Moser
Adapted as an artwork by Mo Geiger

Documentary sculpture made during the lambing season of 2021 on the Dickinson College Farm. It was originally created for utilitarian use and later adapted as an interactive, temporary artwork.

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

This sculpture was originally built to house 2 bottle-fed lamb siblings for a two-week period. The sheep who birthed them had a difficult labor with triplets, which resulted in the rejection of two of the three lambs. During its original installation, the hut was regularly refreshed, semi-deconstructed, and reconstructed as the lambs strengthened and adapted to their temporary living space.

Throughout each day, we’d enter the hut 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, illuminated for passing cars to see—essentially presenting 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 see it as a sculpture. The contrast between day and night was aesthetically striking, but it also literally signified the warmth that the hut was originally constructed to provide. Through this symbolic color, the structure illustrated its own purpose.

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 directly speaks to a key similarity I’ve identified between art and farming: reuse and scavenge of useful materials. Observing this natural vacillation between building, unbuilding, and rebuilding on the farm allows me to think about the potential for this kind of artwork in other environments where material re-use is preexisting and paramount.