Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Great publicity and Timeline

Between this and a few more e-blasts, it is hoped that a few more stories will walk in the door. In the meantime, I am working on a time line, given that the proposal is approved in a timely manner or at all. Anyone reading this who wants to send me a story about what motivates them to plant seeds in a time of ecological disasters, can send it to my email address:

Projected Timeline
March - meet with consultants, stake the site and soil test
April - travel to give talks (schedule will be published later)
May - build beds, fences, gates and gutters for fences, transplant garden, start building story hives
June - planting, gates and information plaques, finish hives
July - install hives, plant heirloom apple tree
August - community celebration

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Only 11 hours left to view the installation @ VALISE gallery

It's been an interesting experience to sit with my show for the whole month. I haven't been living in the gallery, something I considered at one point, but just being there for 11 hours per week has taken me on a fascinating journey. I've kvetched plenty about the lack of traffic, but when it's really busy, and conversations are full of energy, I'm grateful when there's a lull. I've collected about 35 stories on the digital recorder, about 12 hours of chat, filled with some very moving tidbits. My eyes teared up pretty regularly, listening to people's deep connection with the earth, the healing that planting things offers them, and the legacy of this practice in so many of their lives. I was delighted by the diversity of the stories, and excited by the overlaps. I still feel frustrated that so many dozens of people have not come in to share their stories, but it is clear that I will have to go to them.

An article will come out in the Beachcomber this Wed and hopefully that will bring in crowds, and I will have a line of people waiting to be interviewed. The gallery will be open on Thursday night from 4-8 pm and then again on Sat, the 28th, from 10-5 pm. After that all the seedlings will go into the compost (unless someone with a greenhouse wants to try and nurture them), the prints will go into storage, the seed packets (minus one) will be boxed up, and the story boxes will live in my studio in Tacoma.

On Feb 8th I'll be presenting the proposal to the Vashon Parks District Commissioners. We are crossing our fingers that the third time is a charm, and they will see the value of this project taking place in their park. They will vote on Feb 22 and then in March I'll be able to bring together the team for a meeting to discuss what needs to happen in May, June and July. Those will be our work months, and hopefully we'll get everything done that needs to be done then.

As you can see, we now have some new drawings for the proposal. What is not visible in the drawings are the water gutters for the top of the deer fence and a tile project that will line the piece. I will make some more precise drawings for the Feb 8th meeting.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Process questions

So I was asked a few questions on Facebook by the artist Laura Lynch, and she encouraged me to blog my answers. I made the story hive models from recycled cardboard covered in tracing paper, then collaged images and text on the surfaces, along with archival ink drawn and painted on the surfaces. Each hive has drawers or shelves where their are honey comb panels where the audience has been writing down their stories. The seed packets on the windows were made from yellow tracing paper sewn together with thread, then images were drawn on their surfaces, along with text, and I dipped the whole lot into beeswax. I've always loved the translucency of tracing paper (like layers of skin), but adding the small and texture of beeswax is exquisite. I don't feel that this part of the exhibit works the way I envisioned, but I am going to continue to play with it during the month and see what improvements I can make.

Any other questions about process? Just send them this way.

Images from the installation at VALISE gallery

The exhibition at VALISE gallery (JAN 2011)

Almost a month has passed since my last post, but that doesn't mean that this gal hasn't had her nose to the grindstone - actually a better metaphor might be, her nose to the recycled cardboard, or to the beeswax. I was in the studio and on the computer working, working, playing, playing until an installation rolled out like a five-course meal. I had no idea that I was going to create a series of photomontages. They just emerged as I was searching for photos for the seed tray sculpture. Images of ecocide can be very painful to look at or they can be numbing. I found that inserting images of seedlings and sprouts, as well as remediating mushrooms, really engaged me, despite the fact that it seemed simple-minded at first. I found the images really juicy and erotic (as in touching that life force of desire). I'm going to post some of my favorites from the exhibition here. I'll also post some photos of the installation, including the story hive models and the seed tray sculptural installation. Eventually I will start posting excerpts of stories.