I have received all of my art supplies from storage back east and it is now time to incorporate them into some new pieces! While modifying the old. Particularly thinking about incorporating my Teabag Reuse Project and Full Circle: rebirth of a tree projects with my paper and muslin shirts.
In 2006 when I came up with the answer to a question of what to do with all the paper piling up in my apartment I had no idea it would turn into an eight year (and counting) project. None. But it has and my Tree is at a crossroads, or rather a cross-country adventure. You see my Tree has been removed from its outdoor home. The one it has been in/on for the last five years. Just recently it had been lifted off the ground, taken in-doors to dry and packaged carefully to make its journey and enter into the next stage of its life.
So until my Tree comes back to me I have many photos for you to view. See what wood will do when sitting outside underneath cement after a polar vortex and several years of turbulent northeastern weather.
Check out the video that accompanies the above photos. Taken the same day.
Friday, February 21, 2014 will be five years that my Tree will have been outside in northern New Jersey. Which at the moment is being pounded by Mother Nature. She is constantly dumping snow down upon it. But that is winter in the north-east.
This year I have a special plan for my Tree. It involves an idea that the backyard owner (where my Tree is) and my idea combined. I, like all of you will be attending the ceremony from a distance. As always there will be photographs and hopefully a video. There will be another move for my Tree and perhaps a digging out if it is covered by a foot or more of snow.
The life (yes it has taken on a life of its own) of my Tree will continue on and involve the USPS for delivery. Oops I let a little of the plan out! Yes this year marks the fifth anniversary outside and the eighth year of its existence, but it will be living on in more than images.
So until the celebratory post lets take a look back ….
From 3,000 miles away I can detect it. Actually this picture revealed the colorations of the final breakdown of my Tree. This picture was taken December 22,2013. There is clear color changes on both the cement (giant circular piece that has a wooden dowel in the center and underneath a wood platform connected by screw and nut) and the trunk (whitish/now blackish paper laying north of the cement base). Is this mold? Is this a natural occurrence in the breakdown of materials left outside to decompose? The cement piece reminds me of old castles (in Europe) and old military forts (in the USA). The decay is slow, but it is there.
Once again it is time to ask… will it make it to the next anniversary? Or shall I have a Viking Burial for it? just kidding. that wouldn’t be very natural of me. Or would it?!
My experiments in glue continue. Below are two more in my 3″ x 3″ series. I am also working on a larger scale of 8″ x 8″ and have finished one of 4″ x 6″ (can any one say postcard!). The use of paper has morphed into fabric. Currently the pieces either involve fabric or paper, but not both. This may change in the future for I have some splendid ideas. I also have a few ideas which involve torso scale installations. For now enjoy the two images below.
Here are some photos taken by Richard Heaven from my visit to Van Cortlandt House Museum, temporary home of my Sing for Hope piano. If you get a chance give it a visit it is there till June 15
16, 2013. Everyday you can visit it until 6pm.
UPDATE: Just found out that all of the pianos will be removed from their location some time during throughout the day on the 15 (this may be not until 7 or 8pm, but may be earlier). There will be a closing celebration on Sunday, June 16 on the Josie Robertson Plaza at Lincoln Center. So if you cannot make it to the Bronx you have another chance in Manhattan to see all 88 pianos at once!
Sunday, June 2nd I, along with the love of my life, Amy (who was commissioned, along with 87 other artists to put their artistic spin on a piano) went to Van Cortlandt Park in Riverdale, Bronx and visited the Van Cortlandt House Museum to see her Piano. These are some of the photos taken that lovely day!
A piano is covered, but we mustn’t forget the inspirational tree. My Tree and I live further apart than ever, so I reached out to the owner of the yard it resides in to get an update. As expected all is grand and there doesn’t seem to be much of a difference since the February four year’s outside celebration. Take a look, let me know if you agree with me.
Apologies for the long delay in posting. I am working on a deadline (or a drop dead date as some would say) with time restrictions. Normally not a problem, but I’ve got something called a day job that can get a bit in the way. Even so I prevail and will conquer!
Since the last post where I shared my reaction to excitement I have begun working on a piano. I was given an upright piano to work on. Well it wasn’t given to me, it is in a studio location where I get to work (during specific times) on it. I happily would have taken any of the pianos and am still super excited about this project. It is coming out fantastically. Not exactly as I planned, for nothing does, but possibly better. I am using vintage music books (bought online), shredding the pages inside of them (which my mother cringed at the thought), and am applying them to the piano. Oh and I primed and painted the piano first. Why? The primer and paint were free, I hadn’t ordered the music books yet, and as a former piano painter said it is a good way to get to know your piano.
When it is done it will be on display in NYC (will share location information when I find out!) for the first two weeks of June. So if you can play piano come out and if you cannot play piano come out to take a look and listen!
Here are some pictures of my progress so far.
Today, February 21, 2013 is the official four year anniversary of my Tree being outside! Graciously my friend has allowed a paper tree to slowly decay back to nature the old fashion way. Or like anything in an episode of Hoarders. Although it may not be your typical rusty gold (American Pickers reference – can you tell what channels I watch on TV yet?) it is worth more than that to me.
2006 – I thought of the idea and shredded some paper
2007 – I put it all together and my Tree had it’s debut in an art show in Bloomfield, NJ
2008 – My Tree traveled for an art show in Jersey City, NJ
2009 – My Tree jumped off it’s three foot platform and got planted in Rockaway, NJ
2010 – Year 1 outside. It took seven months for the wind to knock down the top half of the trunk. Had a short move into a garden in the same yard.
2011- Year 2 outside. Moved out of the garden and next to a dog house in the same yard.
2012 – Year 3 outside. January 29 it fell. Started to flatten as the seasons passed.
2013 – Year 4 outside. The bark has totally disconnected from the base. Almost completely flat. Pictures below.
While in the studio I pondered what to do. I had taken all of my paint out and fixed a sewing machine, but had no spool of thread. No painting. No sewing. Just lots of containers of glue. I looked around and wondered what I could do with all this glue. And how do old pieces of art work resurface unexpectedly behind furniture? Luckily I had a collage I made a few years back and started to play around with it. Gluing some old pieces back down (glue sticks have an adhesive life apparently). Then I started shredding random scraps of paper I had dropped on the floor (gosh I love being able to make a mess on purpose and leaving it) and gluing them on to the collage in essence transforming the look of the piece and the meaning. If I didn’t have to have a day job to cover my rent I would have stayed all night working on it.
Below is a close up of a tiny section. I glued paper onto a section and covered it with more glue. Drawing with glue. The experiment part will be to see what it looks like next time I go to the studio.