Monica Ponce de Leon created Down River as a companion piece to her sculpture Woven Voices. Both artworks are inspired by the meandering courses of Montana rivers.
Down River is a wall-mounted sculpture made from reclaimed Montana lumber that is more than 100 years old. During the first half of the previous century, sawyers cut thousands of logs from the region’s forests, which consisted of mostly western larch, ponderosa pine and Douglas fir. Loggers would float their timber downstream to sawmills. During this river journey, many logs would sink to the riverbeds, where they remained submerged for decades.
Today, local scuba divers find the historic logs and bring them to the surface. Once collected, the reclaimed logs are dried and cut into usable lumber. For Ponce de Leon, the story of the landscape and its changing relationship with Montana’s inhabitants is deeply embedded in this natural material.
Location: Billings, Montana