Sooooooo......hello, dear readers! I have a new project that I'm attacking next month. Are you ready for some consistent blogging, just like ye olden days? This project, to be more precise, is a private commission to recreate a slightly smaller version of my Vertical Garden installation from 5 years ago, in the home of a very creative individual who somehow stumbled across my work and had to have his own personal version. Since that initial project happened a few years before this blog came about, I thought it would be appropriate to start telling you about it from the very beginning.
This began as as a 2x3 foot wall piece I created in 2004-5, and showed in the Pacific Northwest Annual at the Center on Contemporary Art in Seattle. I was so happy with it that I wanted to see what would happen if I expanded into a larger piece, and was given the opportunity to do so for RACC's installation space in the Portland Building. At that latter venue, I collaborated with composer/sound artist Heather Perkins to create a multisensory experience where we both "created" nature. Although I do use a natural material, wood, in 99% of my sculptures, this installation was a 8x4 foot rectangle, (same size as a sheet of plywood,) filled with over 1000 unique representations of flora and fauna. Heather created a 12 minute sound piece that played on headphones and digitally created the natural sounds that might occur in one 24 hour day.
The term Vertical Garden refers to a type of horticulture practiced by city dwellers who don’t have a plot of land to grow their vegetables. The term involves such practices as using trellises to encourage plants to fit into a small urban space like an apartment deck or porch.
I am really excited to be revisiting this piece because not only was it one of my favorite installations, I feel that I learned so much last year making Natural Selection, that I could make an even better piece the second time around. In the next few days, I'll return and talk you through the early stages of preparation on the new, improved version.
Here's a sneak preview of the giant ukelele that Tripper made for our upcoming show Neighborhood Birds, and if you click here, it will magically transport you to my other blog where I talk more about it.
I've been keeping busy this summer, between putting in a garden in the backyard, to building my alter ego business Bunny with a Toolbelt, to building a body of work for a show with my cousin Tripper Dungan which will open at Guardino Gallery in a few weeks. It's been really fun planning it out with Tripper--we've never worked on a whole show together and it's bringing out all the play and color and happiness that our work has in common. The show is called Neighborhood Birds and will open at Guardino Gallery on the 27th. Here's a few shots of Tripper and me staging the show a few weeks ago. We chalked out the gallery dimensions on my back patio and I set the pieces I had in progress out on the display surfaces to make sure we had good density. Tripper's work mostly hangs on the wall, but he's also making some super giant sign-like pieces that I'm so excited to see. One will be a big guitar, a running theme in this show, and the other is a giant pointing finger. We were talking about how Snow White had that knack for getting birds to land on her outstretched digit, so we'll mount a little shelf just behind the finger and I'm filling it with some of my bird sculptures. I have about two weeks to wrap up the work for that, so I'll keep you updated here. And then I'm launching straight into the next big project--a private commission to create a 3 foot by 6 foot version of my Vertical Garden piece. I'm ever so excited to revisit this installation I did five years ago, one of my favorite pieces I ever made. Stay tuned because I plan to talk about it in the blog, but if you need to brush up on what that was all about in the first place, click here.
There's a fantastic show at the Victoria and Albert Museum that I wish I could see--it's called Telling Tales: Fearful Furniture, and if you click here, you can see their slide show of highlights. Some of my favorites is the above: Lathe Chairs VIII (2008) by Sebastian Brajkovic and below, Ultimate Art Furniture chair (2006) by Boym Partners.