The rhythmic patterns of tree branches and the intricate curves and snarls of vines are invitations for us to make sculpture. Our favorite moment is when people look at our work and do a double take to see if it’s natural or if it’s art.
Using natural materials, usually collected on-site, we do our best to work in as close a collaboration with nature as possible, taking our cues from the immediate environment.
A tour of ancient Scottish stone circles and cairns in 1986 sparked our interest in how humans have perceived their relationship with the natural world through the ages. Living on a working farm beside a tidal river flowing to the Chesapeake Bay, we’re very aware of the cycles of agriculture, the sun, the moon, and the seasons and have come to feel the inherent sacred quality of nature.
One of our principal goals is to focus viewers’ attention on the site and its surroundings, to hone their awareness of the environment. We do our best to draw attention to what’s happening on a site—how plants interact with one another, how they change through the seasons. It’s important to us to allow our work to change naturally, even to gradually decay in situ. In this way, the work acknowledges change and impermanence and the natural cycles of life and death.
Howard & Mary McCoy are collaborative artists who live on a working farm near Centreville, MD. Much of their work is created directly in the landscape and is based on archetypal motifs concerned with the earth and how people have approached their own relationship with the earth through the centuries.
Their work has been shown at Gallery 10 Ltd., Washington Square, and Brody’s Gallery in Washington, DC; University of Maryland Baltimore County, School 33 Art Center and Loyola College in Baltimore, MD; Howard County Center for the Arts in Ellicott Ctiy, MD; C.A.G.E. in Cincinnati, OH; Georgetown College in Georgetown, KY; Spirit Square Center for the Arts in Charlotte, NC; Cardigan Heritage Center in Cardigan, Wales, UK; Artspace in Auckland, New Zealand; and the International Conference on Sculpture in Dublin, Ireland.
Howard McCoy has a B.A. in art from Georgetown College, and an M.F.A. in painting from George Washington University. Mary McCoy has a B.S. in studio art from Skidmore College and formerly wrote on art for several publications, including The Washington Post.