Doug DeWitt
Still image from the video "Rhetorical Intervals".


My artwork is inspired by immersions in landscape and by the colors and textures of weathered materials. As a child I spent hours exploring my grandparents’ farm buildings and playing in the creek near my home. I’ve been an environmentalist since before I was old enough to know what the word meant. The conceptual foundation for my work—whether sculpture, land art or other media—is in how people manipulate land and the natural environment.

But the concepts behind my artwork are almost always eclipsed by my attraction to weathered and decayed natural and manufactured objects. My abstract sculpture is made with sticks, bones, wood, glass, rope, sheet rubber, circuit boards, and rusty metal. These materials have inherent content and beauty, and in dialog with them I find visual and physical harmony through their decay.

I’m also fascinated by the movement of leaves blowing in the breeze, curls of fire in prairie grass, and the continuity of energy through the passing of time. My ecological land art is site-specific work that develops over many years as degraded landscapes are restored to health. Materials on a site are manipulated and documented as they change over time. Objects that are removed from the site become artifacts of the place while the landscape continues to evolve. The collaboration with natural forces results in ever-changing artwork that lives on by itself with my manipulation as an element in its composition.

With my artwork I relate my experience in the landscape instead of depicting a view of it, and through an ecological lens I continue to explore and play in the landscapes around me.