Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Installation-in-progress, Week Nine

(Above:  Celestial Orbs, my fiber arts installation for Waterworks Visual Arts Center in Salisbury, North Carolina.)

Nine short weeks ago I was really nervous.  I had a signed contract for a solo show at Waterworks Visual Arts Center, a regional museum in Salisbury, North Carolina.  For this opportunity, I agreed to create an installation for the twenty-four foot long back wall.  Obviously, this had to be done before delivering the work in late August for the September 9, 2017 - January 3, 2018 exhibit. 

 (Above:  Detail of the corner.)

Nine weeks ago I feared that I'd need more than one hundred orbs.  I thought I'd be spending my entire summer stitching circles.  Ideas for exploring epoxy surfaces spun in my head, but I didn't think I'd have time to try them.  I didn't know how best to attach the orbs to the wall.  Although I'm usually very good at visualizing a finished presentation, I just couldn't grasp the spatial concerns enough to know whether I wanted a giant comet or not.  I hadn't even thought about "comet dust".

Fortunately, CMFA (Columbia Music Festival Association) partnered with me!  They have allowed me to come once a week and "play" on the temporary walls erected just for my use!  I could stand back to consider the relationship between the orbs and the best distance off the wall for shadows.  I could experiment with different hanging devices.  The back of the wall is actually 20'  ... but turning the corner makes a total of 24 feet.  This week, "I turned the corner".  The installation is almost complete! 

There are approximately sixty-five final orbs.  During the past weeks, I did create the comet and the "comet dust".  I had enough time to cover every single orb in the shiny, reflective coating of epoxy.  The final hanging system works wonderfully!  The shadows are great.  The only thing left to do is to pour epoxy over the comet and the "comet dust".  That will have to wait.  Why? 

Well, on Sunday morning I'm off to a National Park art residency at Homestead National Monument in Nebraska.  My proposal calls for using buttons in interesting ways to evoke the spirit of thriftiness common to the pioneering spirit and the development of the American West.  (Anyone following my blog already knows I'm ahead of the game with "buttons"!  I can't wait to have even more time to focus on unique art applications for this humble found object.)  My husband Steve and I will pour the epoxy on the comet and it's "dust" after I return.  We will do it before August 21st! 

Finally, I've settled on a name for this installation.  Celestial Orbs.  Columbia, South Carolina is one of the many locations across the United States for optional viewing of the coming total solar eclipse!  That's on August 21.  This installation was inspired by the excitement over this natural phenomena ... but also the Milky Way nights I experienced while at PLAYA, an art residency in the remote Oregon Outback.  That's why I have a comet ... or is it a shooting star?  I saw shooting stars often while listening to coyotes on the high desert!  

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