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.
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!