Artist behind mysterious sculpture off Bainbridge Island comes clean

Jun 18, 2013, 1:41 PM | Updated: 4:05 pm

The creator of a mysterious sculpture off Bainbridge Island tells KIRO Radio he didn't come forward before because he "didn't want to ruin the karma" of his art. (Image courtesy KING 5/Eric Wilkenson)

(Image courtesy KING 5/Eric Wilkenson)

For months, people have been trying to figure out who put a huge sculpture of a person doing a yoga pose on Blakely Rock off Bainbridge Island. Now, the mystery has been solved.

The 12-foot tall, 1,500-pound granite sculpture that appeared one day in December on the barren, remote outcropping is the work of Bainbridge Island sculptor Ethan Currier.

Currier told KIRO Radio’s Luke Burbank Show he did it anonymously because “I didn’t want to spoil the karma of it.”

While followers of his art had an idea it was him, Currier said he declined interviews for months until last week, when someone finally got him to admit it. Since then, he’s been inundated with interview requests and attention.

“It’s culminating. I just figured, it’s out there, hey, I built it. I’m really excited about it and whatever press comes from it, I guess it’s good,” he said.

Currier finished the sculpture he calls “Blakely Rock Man” and moved it to the rock in just 17 days last December. He built the arms separately and had to cut the body in half.

“I managed to build Styrofoam floats that would float it out there and I tied it to the side of the rock at a really, really high tide so it was as close to the place where it was going to get installed as possible.”

As the tide went out, Blakely was able to stand the sculpture up on the outcropping, even though it weighs 1,500 pounds.

“All I had to do was lift it up and move it a foot over,” he said. “With ingenuity, gravity and balance you can just do amazing things and that sculpture says every bit of that.”

There’s just one small problem with Currier’s installation. The land is owned by the federal government, designated for protection by President Woodrow Wilson back in 1917 in case the government ever needed to install a lighthouse there.

So far, the feds have left the sculpture alone. Currier hopes it stays that way.

“My sculptures put smiles on people’s faces. I have a huge display out on Bainbridge Island that people take pictures of all day long and it makes people happy,” he said. “I don’t see the harm in it. I don’t think I’ve done anything wrong.”

As for the inspiration, Currier said it came from regularly seeing what he calls a “relatively insignificant rock a mile and a half from the ferry.”

“The thing I thought is, in that Zen landscape, what more incredible place than that to put a sculpture on top of.”

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Artist behind mysterious sculpture off Bainbridge Island comes clean