Installing MMMM in NYC…

Thank you Flickr!!

Thank you Flickr!!

When I walked into the Cathedral St. John the Divine earlier this September, I was there to install a giant installation for the exhibition “The Value of Water”, and had never been to the site before….quite nerve-wracking and almost a little absurd for an installation that is all about taking on the shape of its environment. And, I wouldn’t be able to install it myself.   I had been using measurements (some of them contradictory) cobbled together by several people, some dark low-res pictures, and a very simplified floor plan to try to create a plan for something that I usually created painstakingly with my own hands on-site to fit the exact shape of things.  Thank the heavens for the hundreds of tourist photos of the Cathedral on Flickr, it was only through pouring over those that I could even begin to grasp what was going on in all the soaring heights and gigantic arches and wings, bays and arches, and arches!

Armed with my little detailed plans, having worked them out with the crocheting in my studio back in Seattle, I was nervous — what if the measurements were wrong…there was no time or space or crocheting to recreate or adjust things as I usually did because the installation was going to be 65 feet off the ground and done by riggers; I couldn’t  just go up and tweak something.  But after a few minutes of talking over the plans with Daniel from Sapsis Rigging, I knew everything was going to be fine.  Like every other art installer/preparator I have ever met, he was nonchalantly unflappable, nothing dramatic….and just said “no problem”.

Once when we had some glitch, he said something like “that’s a little hard, but hard is no big deal” and then went on to talk about some crazy thing they had to do for Sting when he performed at the Cathedral!

It ended up being one of the easier installations I’ve ever put up, and very fun to get to climb up into the little spiraling staircase and tiny corredors the run up inside the Cathedral.  Paul got to do a lot of fun stuff, I am a bit afraid of heights, at least at 65 feet.

little staircase to the balconies, quite dark without the flash...

little staircase to the balconies, quite dark without the flash...

tiny little hallway in the dark...

tiny little hallway in the dark...

Daniel in the Genie, 40 feet up

Daniel in the Genie, 40 feet up

Paul beginning to stretch the crocheting open...

Paul beginning to stretch the crocheting open...

And we even had plenty of time to crank out more crocheted ropes during lunch at the Hungarian Pastry Shop across the street.  When you’re working hard, giant creme puffs count as lunch….

Now…time to go through and edit all the images of the final installation, and the beautiful images of the other work in the show….more to come documenting the MMMM installation in NYC.

And you can still support this project traveling to NYC through my Kickstarter campaign to raise the funds necessary to cover some of the shortfalls from time off from work, materials, shipping and travel expenses. Just 8 days left to raise $770 to fund this project, and every $5 helps!  Thank you so much, more images to come!

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Last days of Seattle summer recap: NEPO 5k walkers/crocheters, making support for MMMM in NYC

I’ve finally had a moment to digest and remember what great fun I had at the NEPO 5k on September 10th before we had to fly out to NYC to begin the newest installation of MMMM.  Paul, Hazel and I set up a Community Crochet station at the stunning turquoise and red Korean Pagoda in Daejon Park, with piles of shredded fabrics and yarn, tons of sun surrounding the pagoda, a strong breeze and just enough tree buffer to make I-90 sound like the ocean.  Like most of the art stops on the route –  a 5K-long stretch of art events, installations, performance, happenings and galleries — we spent about 2 hours alone, then a deluge of people as they all made their way to us, all seemed happy to take a rest out of the sun and have some water and crochet a bit.

All seemed enthused and engaged by the long walk and comradery of the blend of art makers, art viewers, neighbors, friends, bands of performers and the ever-shifting site and cityscape.

Map of NEPO 5K through the city

Map of NEPO 5K through the city

My lovely first guest and I talked about her visceral reaction to the female crusifix hung at Cathedral St. John the Divine she has seen in the 80’s. And then with the crush of people arriving, it was non-stop teaching and crocheting!

Unlike most of MMMM crochet events over the past few years — where production is relaxed and process-oriented — this time I really needed to crank out the crocheted ropes to accommodate the scale of the Cathedral, with some of the columns 40 feet in diameter.  At the end of the day, I thought we had enough crocheted ropes but Paul and I still had to crank out more our first two days in New York, using up every last bit of fabric I had.

But there were still a few skeins of yarn left in my suitcase to spend an afternoon crocheting on the grounds of the Cathedral with some New Yorkers…….more pictures of that to come.

The connection between making the actual supports for the installation and the way Seattle has continued to support this evolving project is not lost on me.  So thank you for the send-off Seattle and  NEPO 5K-ers!

You can also still support this project traveling to NYC through my Kickstarter campaign to raise the funds necessary to cover some of the shortfalls from time off from work, materials, shipping and travel expenses.  I have 9 days left to raise 40% of my fund-raising goal …it’s getting very close but not there yet.  If you don’t know how Kickstarter works, you must meet your financial goal or receive none of the money…yikes.  Deep thanks to the 34 backers who have already pledged, you don’t know how heartening your support is in this uneasy time for my family.  Seriously, thank you!

And thank you Klara Glosova for a triumphant event to celebrate the community-driven art activity blossoming in our time.

Two of my favorite people in the world , Vis-a-Vis Society!

Two of my favorite people in the world , Vis-a-Vis Society!

Check out the slideshow for more images of the day and the James Harris after-party Bavarian Beer Garden.  There should be Polka at every art event!

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