Mimesis Art Project
The Mimesis Art Project (M.A.P.) is a collaborative art project which invloves several artists who over the course of time will work intimately with nature in hopes of unmasking the underlying mysteries of natural beauty. This collaborative will work with nature, transforming it, and at times, using it as a structural component in large installation works. All artistic mediums are welcome.
While walking through the woods at Hogback Ridge park in Ohio with a friend, we stumbled upon this water soaked log by the side of a creek. We had already done several smaller site specific installs, but upon seeing this log, I knew I just had to do another one. Luckily I had toothpicks on me (I had anticipated they would come in handy for similar occasions), and some pieces which were just right for this log. Also lucky was the fact that the log was soggy enough to push the toothpicks into. Over the course of an hour or so, I carefully stuck each orange "scale" into the log. My friend Raecheal and I took many pictures but only mine are shown above.
The above pictures were from the second install at Mentor Marina park during the summer of 2011. I didn't have as much time as I would have liked, so I was able to do only one short site specific install. The install consisted of many cardboard pieces which were altered with paint, dye, salt, cotton swabs, and in same cases, plaster or fiber. The install took about an hour and a half to set up. At one point I took a small break and went down to the beach to check on my friend. When I came back a young kid was standing over my work checking out what I made. He asked me what it was, to which I replied that it was an art piece. He responded "Oh, is that what it is." I had to chuckle because as I know, most people aren't in contact with contemporary art on a daily basis, and even less so while walking along a beach.
For more information about the Mentor Lagoons Nature Preserve, please go to the following site:http://cityofmentor.com/play/explore/mentorlagoonsnaturepreserve/
Lake Erie Bluffs Temporary Install
The above four pictures are representative of the final layout of the first install of that day. I find that while installing these site specific sculptural pieces, that the overall aesthetics is more pleasing when I work fast and don't over-analyze what I am doing. Sometimes as an artist, you just have to have confidence in your brain's ability to have absorbed information in the past, which later flows out just below the surface of conscious thought. Sometimes the best art is made in the moment when the conscious mind is distracted by the process of creation.
I was surprised to see later while going through the pictures that were taken of this install, that while I was installing the numerous pieces, at one point it resembled a heart. I apparently was so caught up in my work that I never noticed. Luckily, during the installation phase I handed my camera over to my girlfriend, who took this photo of the fleeting heart.
One of the elements I truly enjoy in doing multiple piece installation work is that from every angle it takes on new life. The various shades of color and the slight differences in the shape of the individual pieces, blend together while looking at the install from afar. But when viewed from up close, every different angle reveals a new delight.
Some of my favorite pictures of this install are the close-ups of the pieces with the waves lapping on the shore in the background.
Unfortunately, due to my camera battery running out, this was the only picture of the second install. I would liked to have tried a few more patterns, but time was running out as the sun was getting low in the sky. Summer 2012.
For more info about the park where this install took place please click on the following link:
"Termitaria" Site Specific Install
The above two pictures are of the first install (on that day) of my "termitaria" structures. I chose a linear construction for my first attempt for I wanted to see how the pieces looked against the natural backdrop.
For the second install I tried clumping them together. As I make more of these pieces in the future, I hope to use them in more complex and intricate patterns. As of now, I still struggle with allowing my works to be more free flowing and hence more "natural" or structured and hence more like a man made sculpture. In other words, I struggle to find the balance between order and more flee flowing chaotic patterns.
For the third and final install I chose a more random placement of the "termitaria" structures. In the future I would like to make these structures much larger so that they will have a more commanding presence when either installed out in nature or in a gallery.
The above install took place at the Mentor Marina park. To get these pieces down to the beach we (my girlfriend and I) had to haul them in a large lawn wagon about a mile or so down a trail. The hardest part was carrying them down the final steep slope which lead to the beach. I was worried that if I took the wagon down the slope it would either careen out of control or flip over. I am not sure how many trips up and down the hill I made -- enough to make it seem like a considerable work out that is for sure.
In its entirety, the temporary install took several hours to complete. My favorite part of the day is when a couple of children took great delight in what I was doing. They got up close to the work and couldn't resist touching the various pieces. I would liked to have taken more time to experiment with other setups of these pieces, but rain clouds threatened in the distance. Good thing I hurried too, for as soon as we got back to the car, it began to sprinkle. Summer 2012.
Both of the above pieces are made from clusters of individual pieces glued together in a circular pattern. They are made from recycled scraps of paper which have been dyed and in the middle of each cone is a cotton swab which has been painted and dyed and then glued into place.
Small quick install at Hogback Ridge park in the summer of 2010. I really liked the root structure of this tree and felt it would be perfect for these red and orange tube pieces.
All of the above blue cardboard pieces were taken by Raecheal Maxwell. She takes far better pictures than I do.
On Feb 13th, 2011, Raecheal and I decided to go to Hogback Ridge Park in Lake County. Our goal was to create a small temporary installation piece using various small pieces I had made in the previous weeks, and then photograph these pieces using nature as our backdrop. More specifically, I was hoping to find a large log that I had used in a previous temporary installation piece. My intent was to use the same setting and the same natural element with different materials in order to highlight the change of the seasons and capture the temporal beauty of a particular place. Today I was hoping to use a multitude of blue organic looking pieces against the bright white background of the snowy landscape.
Nature however, refused to cooperate with our plans. As soon as we got to the park, the sun seemed to fade from the sky. And even worse, the warm weather made traversing the mostly frozen stream treacherous. It was difficult discerning where the ice was thick enough to hold our weight and where it wasn’t. The 45 degree weather was quickly eroding what little support the ice normally would give.
Though weary, like steadfast troops – we carried on. Finally, after having fallen in the creek twice, and after falling in a hole and landing on a sharp rock with my knee – and poor Raecheal, after getting her leg painfully wedged between a couple of sharp slabs of ice, we found a suitable place to begin our install. It wasn’t the log I had been searching for – nature hid my prize in a camouflaging blanket of white snow, it was however, a suitable second choice.
The light was dimmer than we had hoped for, and we were both a little banged up at this point. Fortunately though, the install was an easy one with the remaining snow on the small log proving to be a good support for the individual pieces that later formed its knobby spiny. The two of us took many wonderful pictures of not only this install but also of numerous other natural wonders.
Of course, not every excursion concerning this project is going to be the success we hope for, but I am sure each will be an adventure. Today, we walked away tired from trudging in knee deep snow, bruised, cold and wet – but mainly, we walked away having created something beautiful and having shared an experience that was fun, inspiring, and unique.
For more information on Hogback Ridge park, please click on the following link: http://www.lakemetroparks.com/select-park/hogback-ridge.shtml
The same day I did the orange cardboard install on the creek log (pictured above) I also did several small quick installs. This one was done on an overhang which was protruding over the creek. Hogback ridge park.
A quick install at the Mentor Marina Park. Would liked to have done a larger install but the sun was getting low. Did however find the perfect little sandy spot on the beach. Sand is the perfect medium for it not only creates a neutral palette for the dyed paper, but also provides a means for the cones to stick into and stand upright.
Another quick install at Hogback ridge park. Summer 2010.