Its Good To Be Back.
The generous people at Ondarte International Artist Residency have been good enough to invite me back for a second month, and have also provided tools and materials. I think that almost counts as a grant. (Should probably talk to someone about that, and scoop some resume cred.)
So it is back to stone and steel, my familiar ground. I’ve been drilling and glueing steel rods into stones, then welding them into a single piece. What piece, you ask? Well I’m glad you did.
“A Good Egg”
is the name of the work. It will be a nine-foot
sphere. A hybrid, with “exoskeletal” steel rods
holding up the lower half, and internal steel hosting the top.
The piece is intended as a gift from the Ondarte Residency to
the turtle population of Akumal. Wish you had heard me trying
to explain how futile gestures are the most sacred ones at the
artists talk. It was pretty much a futile gesture.
No, the turtles will not “get it”. But making the piece for them
will matter, in some magical land where futile gestures are
stored and counted and saved and treasured.
Work has been fun
and so far, wrinkle free,
as long as you don’t
count the wrinkles.
Progress as of a few days ago…
Ondarte International Artists Residency is a great program.
On arrival, I was happy to find a beautiful facility, in the jungle, near a lagoon.
I spread out the tools, and did a few pieces right away, to get into the groove, and express a little.
Ondarte has a push-button espresso maker from “Intenso”. This piece was a small tribute.
Then on a walk to the lagoon on day seven, I found some interesting sticks in the jungle. I took
some back to the studio and things got more interesting.
Gathering sticks became a priority, then having friends gather sticks for me. It was on.
I decided to use multiple sticks in a loose sphere. I’ve never had much success at working small.
The work became seriously gratifying, and it was cold m and m’s and hot coffee for me.
“Turning Point” is a large piece I made recently. I’m going through some major changes in my home life, and built this arch/gateway piece as an exploration of transition.
It took forever to build.
Taking it apart, and laying the columns down for transportation, scared the hell out of me. They are seriously heavy.
At the gallery, it was time for a bigger piece of equipment. My friend Todd has a logging truck which, with his hand, can place a piece to within an inch of the target.
Last minute adjustments with my old hockey stick.
photos by Sweeney Research http://www.sweeneyresearch.com/
Yesterday was an excellent trip to the Boston Harbor, where Harbor Arts http://www.harborarts.net/proj_harborarts.html and founder Steve Israel
http://www.harborarts.net/au_team.html have landed some of the best real estate in town
for large scale outdoor sculpture. Randi Hopkins at the Boston Institute of Contemporary Art
presided over the jury for the show, and the work is directly across the bay from that revered
It all started with a hoist.
Can I mention here that the gantry crane I built is the only one in existence with custom hardware and winches allowing it to hoist it’s own beam! Yeah, I said it, I invented that. And if you are really into homespun custom fabrication, check out these two ramp rods above, which let the beam ride up to it’s platform without any help from below. Doubtless way more than you want to know, but it lights up my evenings.
Once the piece was up, it was time to cut away the old foundation. A careless crane maneuver on the last installation had all taken a toll on it.
Minx the cat was unimpressed throughout the proceedings, but that is her way.
Mark the crane operator is a genius at the controls. Below, you can see the spot where its usually
tough going. This guy nailed it by going slow, and knowing his machine perfectly. Love that!
Steve Israel, the generous and gifted sculptor behind Harbor Arts. Steve not only brought in sculptors from three continents for this show, but he is using the shipyard and his considerable social capital to seed environmental awareness. Not a bad bone in his body.
Phew! Onto the next one… the Arch for Morgan Lehman Gallery.
The Connecticut Commission on Culture has picked my work for an Artist Fellowship Award.
Yesterday and today have found me in the studio, making an arch for Morgan Lehman Gallery,
I’d like to be a lot less dependent on cash and money flow, and am working toward that, but at present, this grant lands like a hot air balloon full of love.
Photo by Peninsula School of Art.