Intent, The Wooden Horse

Marco Rando with contributions from South Lakes High School STEAM Art students
2020 | Pressure Treated Lumber (Southern Pine), Exterior Grade Screws, Galvanized Nut & Bolts. Hidden Heart – Pressure Treated Lumber, Paint, Marker

This work is the second iteration of the Wooden Horse Rando first realized in 2016 and which was compromised by insect damage in 2019.   Both versions pay homage to the play sculpture Wooden Horse created by Gonzalo Fonseca in 1965 from salvaged construction materials he found while working on the poured concrete sculptures for Lake Anne Village Center (LAVC).   Rando was the perfect fit to recreate this work, one he remembered playing on as a child while his father, the landscape architect Guy Rando, was involved in the planning of LAVC.  Indeed, Rando cites Fonseca and the public art at Lake Anne as a formative influence on his artistic development.

Photos by Marco Rando

STEAM Team Statement:

Intent, The Wooden Horse is the 2nd version of a sculpture originally visualized by Gonzalo Fonseca. As a child I fondly remember playing on Fonseca’s wooden horse as well as the rest of the concrete sculptures integrated into the architecture of Lake Anne Village Center in Reston.

The following description of my working process reflects my dual roles as artisan and teacher.  I have taught art, photography and design at South Lakes High School for close to a decade. The shared experience and observations of working creatively with our youth plays a significant role in my whimsical approach to visualizing artwork.

Intent, The Wooden Horse results from combining two approaches to sculpting. The first is direct carving in which I consider the material spontaneously. For me it is a mystical practice where I allow form to develop from playing directly with my medium. The second is design thinking in which the audience experience informs the work. Combining these approaches creates a dichotomy in sharing and finding the balance of dealing with the human condition as it affects our essential nature. Intent, The Wooden Horse is a metaphor for the strength required to accept life’s challenges. Every action to change our reality starts with a thought of intention. While assembling the horse I realized the skeletal structure afforded a cavity that could cradle a heart. So, it seemed only natural to ask my students in the South Lakes High School STEAM Art students if they wished to contribute by adorning the heart with art. Since I began guiding this program and working with students to create the temporary sculptures for the Lake Thoreau spillway I have fostered a creative learning environment that encourages collaboration.  For me it is part of the process of being a lifelong learner and student. The student contribution to Intent, The Wooden Horse is an integral part of this collaborative process.  Housed behind a window under Intent’s chest, spectators can view the heart, our heart, and a symbol of intention to represent the heart of humanity.“