Welcome To Bear Mountain

Alex Diamond: Welcome To Bear Mountain (2017)
Multi-layered, sculptural woodcut. Wood, acrylic paint, resin. ca. 55 x 60 x 10 cm (21,6” x 23,6” x 3,9”)

„Welcome To Bear Mountain“ is a sculptural, multi-layered woodcut, painted and brushed/sponged with acrylic paint. One layer is additionally covered in transparent resin. It was produced in Hamburg in my studio between January 26 and February 14, 2017.


In my recent work „Welcome To Bear Mountain“, I am once again creating a dialogue between nature and urbanity in todays society. The larger-than-life bear resting on the hilltop; the various people climbing or standing on top of him, holding flares, flags or each others; the high-rise buildings in the background as a contrast to the mountain range in the front - there are a lot of details to discover and explore in this dioramic wall-sculpture. The work is composed almost like a theatre play - with plenty elements of drama. 

There are signs of fiery protest and revolution (the flares, the flags, the propaganda-poster-like posture of the trio on top), there is a huge calmness (in the bear and the mountains) and there is hope, in the shape of the masked child and the father figure holding it fast and secure. 

You are welcome to join - thus the title - and take your part in this play. Find your own characters and explanations and stories. Choose your side and pick your role. Get involved. Even if you are not into acting and more the spectator-kind of guy: that‘s totally cool, but don‘t just lean back and relax - stay alert. 

Alex Diamond: Welcome To Bear Mountain (2017)
Multi-layered, sculptural woodcut. Wood, acrylic paint, resin. Ca. 55 x 60 x 10 cm (21,6” x 23,6” x 3,9”)

That is the underlying inspiration for the work: Let‘s jointly face the tasks at hand, which in the state of the world we live in right now are to resist and to prevent and to care. We have to stand together, and the (in this story purely fictional) ‚Bear Mountain‘ is a place where everyone is welcome. 

It is probably to easy (and wrong) to file this piece solely under ‚political‘. For me it is full of the romantic and passionate voice I tell all my stories with. But it surely takes a critical stance in a more obvious way than some of my other work. Being more direct and blunt here of course is a concession to current times. When democracy and human values are at risk, holding still and hiding somewhere in front of theTelevision and behind Facebook (etc) is not an option: „You will not be able to stay home, brother / You will not be able to plug in, turn on and drop out“ (Gil Scott-Heron, ‚The Revolution Will Not Be Televised‘, 1970).  

But again I have to stop myself here from going too far into the details and the background of the work. I firmly believe that this piece can have a completely different meaning and significance to whoever gets close enough to explore it. 

Whis is part of the luxury in art: It is my luxury to spend countless hours in the studio (or wherever I roam, actually), meandering in my thoughts and working away with sharp blades and wood. It is the viewers luxury to get inspired to let her or his personal thoughts wander - or to just give a fuck, of course ... 

Whatever your part in „Welcome to Bear Mountain“ will be - I hope you enjoy this work as much as I did creating and building it.  

Jörg Heikhaus aka Alex Diamond, February 2017.