This week’s Hampton Classic–related cover by Linda Scott stops viewers in their tracks. First, we can’t help but get caught up in its ambiguous imagery. When we realize that the configuration combines horses and silo-like structures in the background, we begin to figure out possible meanings. Then, we notice the movement of the horses, as if they’re being swept up by the wind, both retreating and going forward at the same time. The organic quality of the image takes over, as Scott’s conception begins to evolve into mythic proportions.
Looking at Scott’s other paintings from her “Stargazer” series evokes a sense of mystery and fantasy as well, although most of the works are figurative (including a woman on horseback), done in a primitive-like style. Because Scott’s images are meant to be understood and shared by all, these iconic symbols (“representing environmental and social responsibility” according to John Jaxheimer, a photographer for Sports Illustrated) are relevant: simple and universal. Other people (including Paige Lillard, V.P. of Turner Broadcasting) have taken up Scott’s mission to make her “Stargazer” sculpture series accessible to people around the world: Planning a project is in the works that would place Scott’s monumental shapes in iconic locations like the Pyramids and the Eiffel Tower.
What is it about your cover from the “Stargazer” series that is so compelling, particularly the sense of movement and the horses themselves?
The image is a sea of horses, like when the wind forces the waves to go backwards. The horses are like the waves. They also represent feeling and consciousness. The setting is from Luna Farm where I lived in Sagaponack; the silos in the painting are part of the place.
Besides the place that inspired this cover, there have been other inspirations through the years. First, how about your artistic skills? You went to some wonderful schools, like Sarah Lawrence, Harvard and Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. What else influenced you, aesthetically-speaking?
Studying with Nicolas Carone, who was my mentor, friend and taught me how to draw. He made me take art lessons, and he would tear my drawings up until I got it right.
Carone’s exhibition was recently at the Pollock–Krasner House. I loved the way his forms seemed to be evolving, how abstract shapes would look like real things; I noticed that about your cover image. Who were some other influences?
God, da Vinci and Dali.
What a list. Besides influential people (and God), what early projects helped you prepare for your later work?
In the 1970s, I did a project with Christo where I wrapped candles, dinner and silverware. There were nails on the plate.
Your ongoing project is spreading your “Stargazer” series. I noticed it was wrapped on the Hampton Jitney buses.
Yes, thanks to the Jitney owner, Geoffrey Lynch.
How about some contemporary people who are helping you with showing your “Stargazer” project around the world?
Peter Brooks, whom I’ve known since the age of 20, Bill Murray, Mark Boal (who wrote the movie The Hurt Locker) and my son.
So how long has the “Stargazer” project taken altogether?
The series has taken a lifetime.
For more information, email Linda Scott at [email protected] or call her at 631-377-9040. Her “Stargazer” sculpture can been seen alongside Route 111 in Manorville.