Study: Land/Sea Analog / Terrane Displacement

Great Lakes Project

Great Lakes
is a collaboration in two parts with Neil Forrest, NASCAD
Pritzaff Building / Milwaukee, WI / NCECA 2014 Conference

Top left: installation view, night of the opening reception, March 20, 2014

Top right: panorama of Great Lakes with Neil Forrest's project on the left, Study: Land/Sea Analog / Terrane Displacement on the right.

Lower left: drawing component of Study: Land/Sea Analog / Terrane Displacement
42 in. x 96 in.
/ cut and re-assembled digital print, pencil and acrylic watercolor on vellum / drywall and wood support

Lower center: tableau component of Study: Land/Sea Analog / Terrane Displacement
25 in. x 42 in. x 109 in.
/ wood, SE Wisconsin glacial till and glass

Lower right: Study: Land/Sea Analog / Terrane Displacement
drawing and tableau components on commercial stage with digital print on vellum strips on each of 4 project windows:


Neil Forrest
has cropped pieces of the distinctive lake freighter typologies to suggest the present currency of the Great Lakes as a transportation and economic engine. In the metaphorical background, is Michel Foucault allegory of ships as the ‘endless journey’ (Foucault’s idea of the transiting ship). This heterotopia rides in contrast with the modeled Devonian period fish and the new invaders. The prehistoric and invasive fish were modeled by upcoming ceramic artists Elizabeth Houg, Gillian Maradyn-Jowsey and Morgan Walker, all introductory ceramic students at NSCAD University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. The ship bridges are American stoneware with earthenware glazes, the fishes are Nova Scotian terra cotta and the sediment that surfaces the table top is glacial till from S. E. Wisconsin



John Roloff
through the graphic work, Study: Land/Sea Analog / Terrane Displacement, 2014 and it’s companion tableau element of glacial sediment, investigates the Pleistocene, glacial, genesis of the the Great Lakes and related terrains/terranes globally through the metaphor of the ship as a symbolic agent of change, dislocation and transport.  The physically offset image of the contemporary archetypal, Columbian Ice Fields of the Canadian Rockies is echoed by a similar displacement of the adjacent tableau sculpture, surfaced with ship and geomorphological structures composed of S. E. Wisconsin sediment undergoing displacement by glass ‘fault’ planes.  This assemblage suggests analogs to generative processes of local glacial transport and displacement as well as larger systems of land and sea evolution.  The Wisconsin terrain may be visualized as strati-chronographically generated and situated between by a mile (or more) thick sea of ice, more ancient hydrologic and marine environments and the contemporary oceans of some -600 ft. elevation below datum.

Roloff works courtesy of Gallery Paule Anglim, San Francisco, CA