Dave Pahl is making one of his signature ‘kinetic art’ pieces for the Fort Seward Sculpture Garden. Pahl is one of 17 Haines artists creating installations for the Alaska Arts Confluence’s outdoor art project at the site of the burnt-out Fort barracks.
He is creating a steel seascape on a rusted water tank salvaged from the barracks. It’s called ‘The Tank with the Crank.’
“What you’re starting to see form up here is a seascape on the side of this water tank,” Pahl said. “Near the bottom there’s starfish and octopus and stuff, and then as you move up the tank, there’ll be some salmon or other fish. And then at the top there will be a few things you’d expect to see on the surface of the water.”
That will include a man in skiff and whale. The sea creatures are forged out of steel, which has involved a lot of hammering and welding.
“It’s been a little hard on the elbows, but it’s something I enjoy,” Pahl said. “It’s been one of my goals to live a self-sufficient lifestyle, so out of that I’ve become a bit of a do-it-yourselfer….so this was an opportunity for me to spend some time working on something I enjoy. And hopefully the community will be able to enjoy it for years to come.”
Pahl installed the gears of old cement mixer inside the tank, with a crank attached to the outside. It will make the whale and skiff man rotate around the top.
“I just like the kinetic art,” he said. “It’s something that they can not only look at, but they can actually walk up to and operate. So I think there’s something to be said for that.”