Thursday, July 26, 2012

Totems & Floating Gallery Spaces

I have spent a lot of time lately thinking about the coast and the sea.  I have lived on the ocean for approximately 7 years now.  At least I have been on a bay which has ocean water for 7 years, that is.  I've spent four years in Casco Bay and 3 years in Elliott Bay.  Both Seattle, WA and Portland, ME are places which are very close to my heart.  I do not know that I will stay here in Portland forever, but that is not to say that I don't have an affinity for the area.  I remember, when I was little, taking a trip with my father to Lake Ontario.  As the sun set, my father stood staring off into the Abyss, like there was something calling to him or mesmerizing him.  When I got a little older, I started to stare off into the distance of the water trying to figure out what he saw and what he heard.  I don't know that I figured out what he was after, but it wasn't long until the sound of the waves and the feel of the surf's crash started to take root in my brain and in my body.  We are all water and we are all tiny.  Never is it so obvious as when you are standing on the shore of a large body of water.

The towns that I live in, therefore, need to be close to or on the water anymore.  Today, as I was creating totems which tell my own life stories and mythology, it only seemed appropriate to make a totem to the two cities that I love.  There is not so much a nautical reference in the piece, but there is the idea of steadiness coupled with that which changes.  Here is that totem:

More specifically involving the ocean towns that I love, is the second project that I have started which I would like to share today.  I have long wanted to create a pop up gallery on a ship.  Currently a friend of mine, Anne Bryant, is sailing about on her vessel the Mimi Rose.  I suggested the other day that we do a small portable pop up gallery and to my delight she liked and encouraged the idea.  So today I set about looking up nautical terms and trying to think of a name for a small gallery.  I looked through some old school illustrated seafaring maps. 

I decided upon the term Mizzenmast because in reading I have always been attracted to the sound of the word.  Also, it is not the main mast, but the second mast.  It made sense to me that since this is not a mainstream art event, but an event living in the substrata of the art world.  This is going to be a great project.  I have already enlisted my friends Anne Buckwalter and Pilar Nadal to submit and look to have several other great additions to the show.  All of the work will be in miniature and clearly portable.  Here is the first rendition of the logo.

It is great to have a little momentum back.  It is great to be working with some awesome people.  Here's hoping we can keep bring some interesting stuff your way and that maybe you can jump aboard the Mimi Rose sometime soon and see some art.  Keep up.


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