Gayil Nalls
Sculpture → Bronze → Palmer I

The plate on the bottom reads:
Big Sur to Washington, D.C.

Palm Fronds I and II were reworked with wax and cast in bronze as art(i)facts

In the exhibition GOVERNMENTnature there were several independent but interrelated sculptures united under the conceptual framework of the words ‘GOVERNMENT’ and ‘nature’ joined as one word, stressing the need to legislate for survival. Palmer I and II were two works original to this exhibition.

GOVERNMENTnature begun in April of 1987 as a staged social process work where Gayil Nalls alternating attendances of White House Press briefings with solitary trips into nature along the California coast. For two weeks in the summer of 1987, the Reagan White House was stationed in Santa Barbara, and press briefings were attended with the uprooted Washington press corps. The subjects of the briefings were primarily related to Soviet-U.S. relations, the possibility of a more peaceful world and a planned visit to Washington. In contrast, various hikes in the wilderness were spent in focused observation, with all the senses, of mountains, forests and beaches. A number of nights were spent outside, followed by the drive back to Santa Barbara in the morning in time for the next briefing. The artwork enabled a closer study of two very different types of existence and knowing. Nalls’s practice was to read the newspapers, attend the briefing, and journey again to the natural areas along the central coast of California along Highway 1 walking into the aromatic Santa Lucia Mountains or on the beaches of Big Sur. Hikes took place in storms and powerful winds, in dry heat and milky-gray light. By the end of the two weeks, boundaries of experiences had dissolved and interrelatedness had taken place. Journalists engaged her discussions about the state of the environment, and a correspondent for the Washington Post volunteered to carry the two palm fronds collected from Big Sur aboard Air Force One to stimulate conversation about the state of the environment and protocols of peace.

Palmer I, 1987
59 x 9 x 8 inches