One of my big summer projects is an outdoor felt installation created for the juried exhibition LandArt @ ArtCraft.
I have been fascinated with Land Art for many years, and allowed the whisperings of a felt installation to roam around in my imagination…When the call for entry for this exhibition came up, I knew exactly what my proposal would be…I was juried into the show, but given a different location to the one on which I had based my proposal. I didn’t think much of this until many months later when I was ready to approach this new work, and started to spend time in the space. My original idea just did not respond to the environment. So I visted regularly, observing and sketching and thinking…until the new work presented itself. (I will tell you sometime about the original idea, as I still plan to make it and present it in a different location this summer!)
In Land Art I see two distinct relationships. The artist meets the site and responds to it’s characteristics, developing a relationship and then a concept for that space. And then the artwork meets the site, and it too responds to it’s characteristics. How will the artwork react with the changing seasons, weather patterns, growth of plant material, animal behavior, movement of the light, and wind? There are so many components to be aware of and potentially respond to. It is a very exciting and dynamic “gallery”!
It has been a fascinating process, immersing oneself in the space, observing
it’s seasonal nuances: the light, the wind, the foliage, the
In the late spring when I saw the strong leaf patterns, emerging on the trees, I knew this would be the right form for this work. A collection of felt leaves, connecting the trees with the earth, filling in the air in between. When we started the installation, I was amazed to see the leaves moving in the breezes, coming up from the harbour. I had no idea until that moment that there would be a kinetic aspect to the work. But it is perfect. The air movements change the relationship each leaf has with the sunlight, illuminating the surface patterns in new ways, with each viewing.
My artist statement on the work sums up where my planning went within the space…
As an environmental art sculpture, Respiration relates to air and light.
The soft, wool felt forms stand in relationship with the strong
vertical lines of the trees, grasses and plants within the garden. The
white felt leaves have delicate surface textures, telling a story of
movement; of air currents and rhythm. As the sun moves, the felt leaves
are backlit and illuminated, showing their patterns with different
intensities, casting shadows and being cast upon by shadows of the
surrounding foliage. Air movements catch the leaves, changing their
relationship with the light and the viewpoint of the observer.
Respiration is constructed in natural, untreated, white wool and
bamboo, primarily from local sources.
Respiration: the act of breathing, the conversion of oxygen (air) into energy….we do it…the leaves do it…The leaves have an inbreath and outbreath, an empty side and a full side depending on the position of the sun. They catch the breath of the wind and move and change…
I’ve been making and installing one or two leaves everyday. This continues my relationship with the space. Everyday I visit, and change it a little…changing the space, and also adding to my vision of the sculptural work, as it grows. The last pieces go up tomorrow and the exhibition opens on June 26th.
If you re in the area, I hope you can join us for the opening!
LandArt @ ArtCraft
June 26 – September 20 2015
114 Rainbow Rd, Salt Spring Island, BC
Opening w/ Artists on Site:
June 26 5:30-7:00pm