About The Awakening:
Seward Johnson’s motivation:
“I can only remember, when I started The Awakening, thinking two things. First, that by making the parts come out of the earth, I could make an awfully big fellow and only have to sculpt the parts that you saw. Then, that I was going to put him on a small country road. So when you came around the corner, there was suddenly this huge giant struggling out of the earth and you had chosen the wrong time to come around the corner. As I said, there are giants in every mythology, and there is also man breaking out of the earth in nearly every historical tradition. So the combination probably strikes a chord deep within the collective unconscious. Anyway, it’s fun for kids to get into his mouth.” –Seward Johnson
Lynn DeClemente Losavio, Program Officer of Johnson Atelier statement:
This project celebrates Seward’s spirit. He loved Hopewell Valley; the beautiful expanse of field and forest of St Michaels Farm Preserve, a sense of well-being and return to nature – he would have loved people wandering and wondering and finding their own story as they take advantage of the surrounding trails and community. The giant really amplifies this feeling. I hope the community feels moved to submit a poem or photo inspired by Seward, art in nature, and our role in preserving the world around us.
Linda Mead, President and CEO of D&R Greenway Statement:
“This temporary installation, The Awakening, invites people to pause and think about their role in protecting the Earth. Engaging people through art about the environment has been a feature of D&R Greenway’s work for many years. We were approached by the Johnson Atelier and Hopewell Valley Arts and wanted to be part of this community-wide celebration.
We hope that The Awakening will introduce people to our preserve, where they can walk our trails and learn about land preservation. We also hope it will inspire thought about how each of us individually makes choices that affect the Earth and its resources. For me, this sculpture represents the struggles of humanity as we try to protect the Earth during a time of climate change and its impacts on plants and wildlife. While the art installation is temporary, the lands we preserve and steward are forever.”
Reactions to the sculpture:
During installation, people on their way to various destinations would turn around and come watch and take photos, unaware of the preserve but excitedly promising to come back to hike the trails.
Overwhelmingly positive reactions on social media – “I love BIG ART especially in green public spaces.”
About D&R Greenway Land Trust: D&R Greenway Land Trust is an accredited nonprofit that has reached a new milestone of over 22,000 acres of land preserved throughout central New Jersey since 1989. By protecting land in perpetuity and creating public trails, it gives everyone the opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors. The land trust’s preserved farms and community gardens provide local organic food for residents of the region—including those most in need. Through strategic land conservation and stewardship, D&R Greenway combats climate change, protects birds and wildlife, and ensures clean drinking water for future generations.
D&R Greenway’s mission is centered on connecting land with people from all walks of life. Visit our Facebook and Instagram pages and www.drgreenway.org to learn about the organization’s latest news and in-person and virtual programs. D&R Greenway Land Trust, One Preservation Place, Princeton NJ 08540. The best way to reach D&R Greenway staff is by sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling D&R Greenway at 609-924-4646.