Thursday, July 4, 2013

Off With Her Head! -Sarah Deppe Style.

So a few days ago I had the chance to help Sarah Deppe remove her head.

This was by no means a standard beheading.  This operation required a crane and a staggering amount of plastic wrap.

Sarah Deppe is an artist/sculptor/maker-of-cool things from Iowa.  Below is a picture of her 'head' that had been installed in Bettendorf for the last year as part of a sculpture program through Quad City Arts (  A year later and the lease was up....

A wider panoramic view

So by the time I got there to help remove the head, Sarah had already been there for quite some time wrapping the head with plastic wrap (so that when the head is transported, all the little bits stay in place and don't fly off due to the wind, and the bumps, and the weather, and the...... you get the idea).

This image helps to give you an idea of what an undertaking it was to wrap her sculpture.


I did sneak a couple of shots of the interior of 'the head' to show how well it is constructed -nice cross-bracing and reinforcements throughout. The yellow strap you see is what will attach to the crane and hoist the work off the slab and onto a flatbed trailer.

Sarah taking a quick moment to talk to a reporter from the Quad City Times.  Never ever miss a chance at some publicity.

How often do you see something like this?  Really?

I spoke briefly with Sarah about her art.  She told me that she made the head during a semester in college (roughly 3-4 months).  She spent about a month gathering the wood/bark to form the outer shell.  Work. Vision. Work. Focus. Work. Persistence. Work.

So the head (which is actually titled 'Exhaling Dissolution') is off to Chattanooga for the next two years.  I can't even begin to imagine what kinds of adventures await in transporting it from Iowa to Tennessee.

Sarah Deppe makes some really compelling work that challenges the space that it is in, and pushes the artist who makes it.  You can check out her work here and you can read a quick blurb about the sculptures involved in this year's project with this link to the Quad City Times.

Thanks to Sarah Deppe for her time, effort, and inspiration.

3-4 months, makes ya think......get back to work!


  1. This is an absolutely amazing work of art, made entirely of collected tree branches that had broken off of their own accord.

  2. I sent her a letter of congratulations but I imagine that actually building the sculpture left her no time for reading comments about her work.