Adrian Cooke   Prairie Keep

March 5, 1983 - March 27, 1983

Most simply stated, Prairie Keep is a sculpture. Cross bracing, riveting, carriage bolts, tarpaulins and tie downs are referred to directly in the execution of Prairie Keep. Besides these rather specific references of construction, Cooke is interested in creating a  “contained space”, but inaccessible to intrusion but allowing visual penetration. The title Prairie Keep evokes the idea of a reliquary or sanctuary, although closer examination reveals nothing contained by the stake body confines and covering tarpaulin.

The presence of this work evokes a reverent attitude demanded by the red runner and formal elevating stair approach. The ideas of reverence, icon, mystery and exclusive space parallel the artist’s experiences during visits to cathedrals while travelling through Europe. The wrought iron sacristy grilles have been transformed rendered in a prairie, wooden vernacular equivalent. Prairie Keep is then a compendium of these ideas and experiences. It is an experience of its own, an evocation of complex emotions and responses rather than a purely formal object of sculpture.

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