After two and a half months of prep work, community work, and studio time, the final pieces for the Light as a Feather installation are ready to go! There's so much to go into with this project, and there's certainly more to follow- especially considering the second life of the project is yet to begin (intrigued?? Stay tuned!). But I think the most interesting thing I keep coming back to have been the possibilities and permutations we've juggled in order to bring these pieces to life.
On top of that there were the sheer number of pieces that would eventually be put together to make one installation. We had 30 pieces overall that would eventually be combined into 10 final banners, with 20 of those pieces being undertaken by visitors to the museum. I'm no mathematician, but I think that's over 4000 possible combinations that we could have ended up with! So the biggest challenge (I love a good creative problem solving task!), especially towards the end, was analyzing and optimizing the combinations of pieces to create the best layout for the pieces. On top of that, there's the installation itself! We had 10 banners being oriented in 10 separate locations. So what was the best arrangement of the 10 pieces? The possibilities were really mind-boggling the more I thought about it! So in the end, it really became necessary to 1. not OVERTHINK so many possibilities 2. rule out what I knew wouldn't work 3. rely on intuition and solid design principles 4. balance and integrate the pieces with the aesthetic of the site/ museum, all in order to come up with an installation plan I thought would be the best plan moving forward.
Can you tell I'm a bit of a micromanager to say the least?? Wait till I get going! (Princess Bride quote?) On top of all these quite literal combinations was an even trickier and most unique parameter of this project which was balancing my own personal vision of the overall art installation with the yet to be known ideas being brought by future participants (probably you if you're reading this!). We had close to 100 volunteers pitch in to help in the creation of the pieces, with each piece branching out over 2-3 different work sessions, color combinations, design ideas, etc. It gets to be a lot just writing about it!
In the beginning of this project, I'll admit there were moments I felt a bit paralyzed about what I should be doing to move forward. But looking back, I can see that there was only so much I could actually control! So now, knowing all that- actually there's more, but it's tiring me out!- brings me to where we are now; the 10 finished pieces have been cleaned, sewn, and finalized for installation! Check out the final designs below- did I make some good decisions??
The pieces have started to go up, and should be visible by next week on site! Stay tuned for more!!