Ideas do not need destinations. They do need imagination so that the mind can fly without a blueprint. Drive is valuable to give life to the idea.
An idea can exist in a sketchbook, as a model, or in pieces packed away in a chest. I work under this guise. It is important for me to work through the details of all the aspects and see the idea through to completion, whether physical or not. I even set into motion as if the idea will be realized and I suppose this is a trick of the mind that I have mastered. I make models, explore materials, gather items together, and write about it.
My time as an artist is spent on the process of creating a final work of art. I seem to employ less energy when it comes time to finding a place for it to be exhibited. I tend to see it as a job for the future. I have plans for an easy assemblage, if someone were to take it on. My attitude is not one of defeat, rather I am filled with so many ideas that the studio atmosphere is one of triage. I want to do it all.
Here is one of my installation ideas. The origin of the idea was huge. Since I was a kid, I loved overwhelming amounts of fantastic in-your-face multiples where the sheer magnitude captures the force of my longing.
This installation is about a quiet glowing heart, one that thrives because I am experiencing the relationships that are the focal point in a participatory projects like this.
READING TEA LEAVES
Three hundred unique teacups and saucers create a tea party where viewers read tea leaves foretelling a bright future. Reading Tea Leaves is a delicate installation that uses the power of language to create a new reality.
Teacups cascade down the wall, slowly protruding outwards and upwards, inviting the viewer closer. Each cup is lined in gold and has flecks of luminous gold leaf deposits. The golden remnants are messages that need to be deciphered. The teacups are nests that hold promise and nurture possibility.
What I see in the teacups I record on a card. The poetic messages that I find call us to our higher selves, our angelic nature. Reading the words gives material substance to these positive ideas.
Attached to each teacup are small manilla tags secured with a wire. The stiffness of the wire becomes sculptural, reaching outward. The tagging mimics the feel of an auction house sale, something old being inventoried, or an estate sale collectable discovery. The script on each note contains a message, a location, a time, indicating a far reaching principle.
The messages appeal to the senses, often referencing sound, sight, touch, smell and taste. Individual delight is achieved by using the word “you”, as in “You are” and “You have.” The art is visually stunning and presented in a feminine manner that instills gentle commands to cultivate new beginnings.
Tea is prevalent in most cultures and considered a daily ritual. Gestures of hospitality, elaborate ceremonies, and medicinal properties conjure a comforting, wakeful tranquility. More robust meanings of altering reality, such as the historical Boston Tea Party, the fanciful stance of Mad Hatter’s Tea Party, and the optimism found in the custom of afternoon Tea, also permeate the installation.
The illuminated teacups are reflections of the past that beckon us forward, encouraging a personal heroism by strengthening a positive self-perception and our capability to contribute to an enlightened world. The viewer is guided into portals that arouse an internal instrument, our inner voices. This tea party is a large social gathering, one offering the community sustenance for a heartfelt outlook.
Reading Tea Leaves is a work in progress that can adapt to a spacious or confined room, one wall to four (and easily divided evenly among them 300, 150, 100, and 75.)
The teacups and saucers are melded together securely and hang on concealed tiny hooks. Attached to the back of saucer are varied length dowels (painted white) that tip the saucers outward from the wall and slowly turning them upward.
Existing gallery lighting is suitable or specialized and dramatic light can work. Miniature pin lights and magnifying glasses will be on hand for those in need of assistance in reading the messages or for those drawn to the experience of investigation.
An audio track, of a tea party with whispering, can be included in the space or as an audio component accessed online. A slideshow of closeup shots of the words within the cups will available to be mobile users attending the exhibit.
The teacups have been collected from family, friends, new cyber pals and thrift stores since 2010. View the collection of teacups in my archive.
My original vision was 1000s of teacups and that still remains true today. In my art I must confront the reality of my world and where and how I am positioned in making things happen.