Bringing It Together
Lloyd Hamrol's Communal 'Woven Cone'
Lloyd Hamrol made this maquette for the Woven Cone sculpture that he and his students constructed on the CalArts campus in 1973. "My idea [as a professor]," Hamrol explained for Afterall Online, "was to expose the students to as many off-the-path, off-the-track alternatives to the canon that I could possibly find." To construct Woven Cone, Hamrol enlisted the help of three students, who trekked with him to a redwood forest in Mendocino County to fell the saplings for the structure. "It was like a CalArts woodland camping trip," he remembered.
"Woven Cone resolved certain issues I was involved with as an artist," Hamrol said, "particularly working contrary to canons of history that glorify a fixed monument in the landscape without taking into account the environmental context." Hamrol specifically cites the energy and influence of CalArts' newly founded Feminist Art Program, which opened up space for criticizing and questioning male-dominated hierarchies in art and more broadly. "It was really a great time," Hamrol reflected, "so, for me, the sculpture was a kind of androgynous form that was both masculine and feminine, reflecting the zeitgeist of the moment. On the one hand, it was an upright, priapic, thrusting form in the landscape. But it also had a soft, penetrable surface, and internal space. Little glints of light would come through the weaving’s interstices, giving it a nest-like quality."