part of the ongoing series summer library
July 15 - September 3, 2022
Rhonda Hershey Ike is the founder and creator of EarthArtYoga, a creative endeavor that aims to explore the intersection of nature, art, movement and breath. EarthArtYoga organizes and creates earth based art experiences that nurture and soothe the soul. A large part of her work is ephemeral, honoring and celebrating the constant changes in nature and in ourselves. Rhonda encourages interaction with her artwork by creating installations that viewers must travel through to experience. She is very interested in the changes that occur over time and the impact the viewer has on the work.
This spring, Rhonda collaborated with Kauffman Orchards in Ronks, PA to create “Returning,” a unique outdoor art installation built from “retired” apple trees, cherry trees and peach prunings, which includes a Chartres style labyrinth spanning 100 ft. across. The piece is currently on view throughout the Summer and Fall of 2022. “Returning” invites viewers to honor and enjoy nature by engaging with various contemplative spaces within the exhibit. In October, after the harvest season in the orchard, there will be a closing celebration and these sculptures will be burned, returning them to the Earth from which they came.
See full details about the Summer Library project, including other Librarians' work, here.
Books as building blocks
Simply, like Mondrian
Erasing the distractions
Color, images and titles
That pull the eye away
From our true nature
Building back the trees from which they came:
from trees to books and back to trees again.
This installation was inspired by Ike's recent outdoor work with trees, especially her nearby site-specific piece “Returning.” In both installations, her intent is to honor the wisdom and infinite contributions of trees by building spaces for viewers to engage with and contemplate these wonders of nature.
Working with the books as sculptural elements led her to create forms that somehow represent these gentle giants. The large circle in the middle of the space is the circumference of one of the largest trees in Chester County, located in Cochranville, three miles from Street Road Artists Space and just a stone’s throw from the Little Free Library.
Ike invites visitors to enter that space and feel the magic within. Viewers are encouraged to add books from the shelves or the floor to this circle in order to contribute to the growth of this installation.