The Stargazer sculpture greets every visitor to the Hamptons traveling from the Long Island Expressway along County Road 111 to Route 27. My heart lifts when I see it on my way home.
Linda Scott, the artist who conceived Stargazer passed away last summer. This iconic work is a memorial to her creativity and vision.
Those that carry on Scott's legacy contend with the fragile nature of the work. Stargazer is plywood coated with stucco and paint on a metal frame. Its skin a fragile layer currently in distress after being struck by lightening. The exposed bit of wood was recently repaired but the entire sculpture is awaiting renovation. I had previously assumed the work was made of metal. Not so, this work could easily decompose and be lost forever. Its caretaker, David Morris, who was responsible for the work's original fabrication, is in a constant battle against the elements.
original fabrication image via
original assembly image via
A connection between earth and sky.
A deer seeming to nibble on an antler.
Gazing towards the heavens.
Framing its surroundings.
Editorial from The East Hampton Star
September 20, 1990
"Stargazer," A Sentry
Other than Grace's and the turn for the Long Island Game Farm, not much used to distinguish Route 111, the stretch of road at Manorville that links the Long Island Expressway and the Sunrise Highway. It was simply part of getting there from here or vice versa.
That changed a couple of weeks ago with an addition called "Stargazer"to the green landscape east of the highway. It's a monumental sculpture by Linda Scott, whose work also stands outside the Benson Gallery in Bridgehampton, and it gradually becomes recognizable as the head of a deer raised skyward, as if peering up over the road's edge.
The level expanse of fields is a pleasing interlude between highways, a reminder that overdevelopment has yet to creep into the buffer separating western and eastern Suffolk. But, although "Stargazer" is a reminder of the wildlife roaming over the acres and acres that stretch toward the Peconic River headwaters, it already seems to be a memorial, as most monuments are.
The northern end of Route 111 already is cluttered with gas stations, model houses and billboards touting commercial pleasures on the East End. How much longer can we expect the southern stretch around "Stargazer," to remain unspoiled?
More than a work of art to awaken road-weary eyes, we hope the sculpture will endure as a symbolic sentry of the spirit of preservation.
Dan's Papers: "Welcome to the Hamptons: Stargazer, Linda Scott, the Disaster at ARF and What Happens Next" here
Linda Scott Stargazer Project site here