Three days from now (an outline)
So in three days I’ll be installing a new site-specific piece at Southern Vermont College. What you are seeing here is my studio mockup of the project done in paper. I find that for installation work I absolutely need to work with the scale of things in relation to my body. What works conceptually or in sketches often has a very different impact when you put a person next to it.
In this case I’ve substituted the paving stones I’ll be using for paper ones of the same size which I made to try them out. The actual stones were quarried from the hills near the college, hand-cut and used in paving the college grounds. Mark Klauder, the college’s fantastic groundskeeper (who is also an excellent carpenter who has created the panels for this piece) showed me these on a forest path and told me about their history.
My thought was to use them to build a cairn (piles of stones used to guide travelers on their path) which would mark the center of the piece.
The piece will be similar to Identity Tapestry in having hand-dyed yarn on the left, each one to represent a person’s journey. Each person will circle the statements that are part of their personal journey. In this case, from where they are already coming from (pre-college) on the left wall, and then passing through a gate within the cairn to go to the right wall, which has statements about dreams and goals for the future. At the end, rather than setting down a stone on the ground they will toss the (much lighter and stone-free) ball up over the side of the piece, creating a line disappearing towards the sky.
The outline of the panel on the right is taken from the silhouette of the mountains near the college.
For the curious, this mockup was made in my new studio space. I’m so glad I found the right one just when I needed it! Tomorrow I roll up my wall-maps and Tuesday morning I fly out with a bag full of those, yarn, parts and tools to make this installation a reality. The piece will be called “Gateway” and be located at SVC’s new admissions building in the mansion’s old gatehouse.