Thursday, January 9, 2014

Kekino Wall Installation

The most difficult part of installing my work for Biomorph (up now at Esvelt Gallery on the Columbia Basin College campus) was the irregular wall installation, "Kekino Bionica". The grouping consists of ~35 previously shown pieces and ~13 new pieces made this year. To save time, I laid out the installation on paper on the kitchen floor the day before going to the gallery to install.

paper plan taped up as I begin to drill holes for screws

I taped up the papers on either side of this small wall next to the building entrance and drilled holes and put in screws and nails through the paper. At home I had marked and color coded all the screw sizes, so I knew which pieces needed smaller or larger screws. Unfortunately, I am evidently not very good at counting. Though I kept a tally of the screws I needed, then bought 5-10 more of each size, I still ran out of at least two sizes. Something to work on, I guess. I also ended up with more bulbs than I needed for the Ericano installation and two oranges for a snack when I though I only packed one.

screws and nails (but no other marks) after I tore down the paper plan

After the screws were all in, I peeled the paper off the wall, over the screws and nails and laid the papers on the floor because they were marked with sketches of each piece while the wall was blank. I then started to place work. I didn't take pictures during the installation because I was concentrating. I am afraid of heights, so all during the hanging of the high works and even drilling the holes, I am in panic mode. I step up the ladder, place a piece and then step down to relax, breathe and wipe my sweaty hands on my pants. I suspect the process would go more quickly and more smoothly if I could eliminate the panic phase. To add to the panic phase this time around, I knocked a piece off the wall while working on the other side. I have dropped pieces before but I can't remember a piece dropping after it was already hung--at least not since graduate school.

the installation near the door and viewed from the end of the wall

This particular installation wraps around this short wall and into the gallery. I wanted to take advantage of the irregular shape of the gallery walls and the exposed top, which can be seen from the stairs and from the third floor overlook. I had built a couple pieces this summer specifically to bend over the top, but I think I would make the angles more dramatic if I were to do it again. I might also make pieces to bend around the end of the wall.

top view of the installation wall

Because of my aforementioned fear of heights, I asked one of the gallery assistants to drill the holes for the pieces on top of the wall. He is taller, so perhaps her doesn't have to go as high on it as I do. Or other people don't have such a fear of ladders. I placed the two works on the top (held in place with screws), and this was by far the scariest part of the installation for me. Based on the pictures, no one dusted the top of the wall, but I didn't get high enough to see the top in person and, anyway, I wasn't going to volunteer to dust it myself.

interior of gallery view of my installation and Laura's painting

In this show, I am sharing the gallery with Laura Ahola-Young. Laura's paintings are abstract and represent biological forms, similar to my work, though her color choices and medium are obviously different than mine. We tried to arrange the show so that our works relate to one another in the space. I didn't take many pictures of her work, so you'll just have to get down to Pasco to see the show.

first floor gallery view (the brown tables will be moved

The gallery space is unusual. It is both a gallery and the lobby and stairway area for the art building. The gallery features irregular spaces, large windows and overlooks from the second and third floor into the main gallery space on the first floor. Several classrooms open onto the gallery on the first and third floors and the gallery lighting is visible between floors.

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