Ledelle Moe's Outdoor Sculptures

Oct 29—Dec 31, 2023

Monuments is a permanent installation of five monumental works by the artist Ledelle Moe. Sprawled across four locations on the ArtYard campus, these massive recumbent figures are immense and fragile, evoking anonymous victims of xenophobic violence, beloved ancestral figures, and gargantuan fallen animals while reckoning with issues of land and place. They nod to recently deposed statues of confederate “heroes,” and to histories of appropriated lands.

Constructed of welded steel and cement with incorporated soil from the locations of their construction, Moe’s recumbent figures grapple with permanence and impermanence, strength and vulnerability, and the intersection of the personal and political.

Title: Collapse.

Location: In front of the ArtYard Center building at 13 Front Street, Frenchtown, NJ.

In Collapse, Ledelle Moe acknowledges the death of an individual killed in violent conflict in South Africa in 2019.  The work is created as an anonymous memorial and references not only the loss of his life but of the many others who have been similarly victimized. This work was produced in South Africa and incorporates sand/aggregate from the Western Cape region.

Title: From the series Erosion

Location: ArtYard’s Creekside Residency at 50 Trenton Avenue, accessible from Trenton Avenue or the riverside Rail Trail.

The Erosion pieces were influenced by elements of graveyard statuary in Greenmount Cemetery (Baltimore) and Hollywood Cemetery (Richmond), and contain sand/aggregate from these locations. When walking and spending time in these spaces, Moe was struck by the way in which the sculpted female form serves as a placeholder for grief, loss, and the immortal spirit.

Title: From the series Erosion.

Location: In front of the ArtYard Bridge Residency at 12 Bridge Street, Frenchtown, NJ.

Monuments was installed on ArtYard’s campus in August 2021. Creating these large sculptures began with a welded armature constructed in a way  allowing the whole form to break down into individual fragments that are then bolted back together. The armature is covered in a fine mesh upon which cement is applied and carved. Once completed, the sculptures read as cavities and the seams and connecting points are revealed. In this sense, the piece has the presence of being seemingly solid and whole, yet modular and fragmented. This technical component of the work dovetails into the central conceptual themes in the installations, namely those of strength and vulnerability, permanence and impermanence.