Thursday, March 18, 2010
I'm going to propose a new version of The Mother Tree at an event at Disjecta here in Portland tonight. I think it will be good to get the word out about it, regardless of whether I get the gig. And I'm happy to have a new proposal written to shop around elsewhere!
Here is the basic idea:
Stage 1 – The Dress – Installed: The seven-foot tall Mother Tree sculpture will be installed at Disjecta with thirty chain stitched strands of thread, representing mother’s milk, cascading from the bosom to the floor.
Stage 2 – Roots Emerge – A Happening: I will be on-site crocheting for the first 2-3 days of the exhibition with a group of 5-30 crocheters from the community. We will sit beneath the Mother Tree, each one of us crocheting onto the end of one of the chain stitched strands. As we crochet, we will fan out into the space and improvise: crossing paths, switching strands, etc. At the end of this Stage 2, the roots will range from one hundred to two hundred feet in length.
Stage 3 – The Larger Community: I will attach additional strands, which were donated for the debut of the Mother Tree at the Portland Building (an accumulated 4000 feet crocheted by 300+ community members) to the strands and arrange them in a pattern on the floor that spreads throughout the space. At this stage, I will write the words and poetry in the fiber cords.
Stage 4 – Performance: I am currently in conversation with dancers and choreographers about developing a modern dance performance which will be presented one or more times during the exhibition. Dancers will move and interact with the Mother Tree and its roots, performing the transformation from dress to tree and root to soil, and symbolizing the mother as a provider and nurturer throughout human development.
I am really excited about the visual of crocheters in the space, working and moving as part of the piece in a way that is different from the installation at The Portland Building. I envision them dressed similarly and as quiet beings in the space. I have several ideas for the performance, too. I can see dancers rolling the threads into balls and bringing them home to The Mother Tree and I can envision a May Pole dance of sorts. I'm looking forward to discussing this with a few choreographers in town.