Public Sculptures by John Christensen seen at Scouters Mountain Nature Park, Happy Valley - Habitat


Scattered through the park are five sculptures of various media on benches of fir timber salvaged from a former lodge. To champion a theme of habitat creation I magnified colonizing, small, often primitive growth - fungi, moss, lichen - that create, like douglas firs and humans, a dominant biotic cover for a given place, scale and set of conditions. The sculptures occupy space on benches, forcing us to share space.

Meet the Creator

"I design and make objects and spaces in public, private, theatrical and commercial arenas. For over 20 years, I have successfully met thematic and practical challenges presented by clients and collaborators. I bring to these tasks experience with a broad range of materials and processes, and I seek design solutions that are poetic, integrative and surprising.

Before 1990, I developed a body of site-sensitive work in rural landscapes of New York, Georgia and Texas. Since 1990, I have focused that sensibility on projects for the theatre and the public place. I have created, in collaborations with choreographers, interactive props and theatrical environments for 22 productions presented in the Americas, Europe and Asia. I have designed and built commercial spaces and furniture. I worked with others in the development of iconic elements, structures and infrastructure for a municipal park. I have completed large-scale public and private commissions in Austin, Dallas, Houston, Albuquerque, Miami, Tucson and Fort Worth.

Interest in natural science, metaphysics, literature and history, informs my artistic practice. For many years I adapted natural forms – investing them with breath and physical centers – endeavoring to move an audience through direct somatic appeal. For the last several years, I have more often made three-dimensional drawings that map a vision of - or journey through - a metaphysical universe. My intent is disruptive and optimistic – that we may effectively re-imagine personal ambitions and communal goals.

I source material for my sculptures from the natural world. Sculptures at an airport abstract wind-blown seeds. A pavilion for a municipal park merges with the surrounding tree canopy. An Albuquerque installation recalls the theatre of clouds and landforms of the four-corners region. A wall relief refers to wave-interference patterns and Polynesian navigation methods. A sculpture at a psychiatric hospital uses a wormhole as a metaphor for transformation. In recent sculptures and reliefs I have arranged motifs to evoke organic systems - branching rhizomes, biotic colonies, neural networks, wave interference patterns, polymers - clustered works with perceptual associations that make poetic connections between phenomena in disparate fields."

Available for commission/custom work