Harlan Mack, Nimbus


Nimbus was one of my early public sculptures, created in 2008 in preparation an outdoor exhibition in Stowe, VT. At the time my sculptural work was beginning to take on the narrative in what I thought was a direct departure from a focus on my relationship to modes of play. Later I would gain an understanding that the creation of narrative artwork was central to my history with play. This particular piece also has played a very central role in the narrative world that I am still involved with today across all media my artwork. Nimbus was second in a series called, “Uncommon Heroes,” of which tales were created of beings that were in part responsible for saving a future version of the world left in the aftermath of an ongoing struggle for existence. In this fictive future a two-tailed spider monkey, Nimbus, charges themselves with the responsibility of protecting the last tree of which it was aware. This was a simple tale that created a platform that highlights contemplation as the most valuable action in a series of events.

Harlan Mack is a Vermont born multidisciplinary artist currently based at the Vermont Studio Center in Johnson, Vermont. He employs blacksmithing, steel fabrication, painting, and oral storytelling to build an expanding, constellated narrative that invites viewers and listeners into an imaginary future. This world is generated and inspired by Harlan’s life experience, exploration, modes of play, and thoughts around identity, labor, perception, contemplation, fiction, community, and emergence.