Thursday, March 31, 2011

Below are the two newly constructed creatures. I tried a couple experiments with these two -- the pure white one is made completely of white garbage bags. I expanded the length of the fringe and changed the shape of the head/nose a bit. I think this one is a bit mysterious; a ghost of sorts. The calico one is a mixture of brown, white, clear, and black plastic bags. I experimented with creating a pattern to this one's fringe/fur? I think he's the oldest of the creatures, having accumulated the most plastic bags. His arms are especially long, which I like quite a lot!

These new creatures are much more complicated than previous ones -- I experimented a bit with color and combining different colors, instead of just sticking with one. Using both normal plastic bags and garbage bags in one creature created some interesting texture differences, as well as different reflective properties. On both the creatures, I elongated the arms so that they would drag more thoroughly on the ground. The bag tassels are also all different sizes -- not just short. I've included some very long tassels as well. I like to think of the calico one as a very very old creature. He's had time to accumulate a lot of different bags from all different time periods. The pure white creature is like a ghost of the creatures -- it's amplified in it's texture and weight as well. Compared to the rest of the creatures, this white one is incredibly light...almost fragile.

I am still working on a musical composition for the bag creatures. I have been working a lot with my electric violin and looping different short melodies and rhythmic textures. I am thinking about their slow journey across the world, their hope, and their curiosity. I definitely want to incorporate the actual sounds of the plastic bags.

The Bag Creatures Return

Hello everyone! And so, finally I am updating about the bag creatures, which I've now been thinking and working on for almost 2 years!!! Crazy. I've constructed two more creatures, making a total of 7. I am currently working on a music composition to accompany the performance. I'm still undecided when it comes to choreography. Not being a dancer myself, it's hard to picture. I think I'm more drawn to the improvisation, with slight directions regarding the characteristics of the creatures. I find myself leaning more towards getting lots of audience participation and having random, interested people become the creatures, more than pre-approved dancers. Anyway, the creatures will be performing at the and of April (the 23rd to be exact!) in Provincetown, MA, courtesy of Shore Galleries. We'll be performing at the town dump, recycle center, or the beach! Excitement! Following this performance, the creatures and I will travel back home to VT and have three days of performances/presentations at St. Johnsbury Academy and The Stevens School in Peacham. There will also be a couple improv performances in Montpelier and possibly Burlington. Phew! A lot going on in a short amount of time! I have to put a brief note in -- none of this would be possible without the generosity of the Vermont Arts Council. Thanks to them I have been able to continue experimenting and performing with the creatures!

Monday, March 7, 2011

The Red Creature

Here is another creature I made a couple years ago that once again, I forgot to post! I had a lot of fun making this guy -- looking back, I realize how much I've learned about construction! While in this costume, being made from recycled theater curtains, polyfill, and muslin, you can barely's hard to stay in it for more than 10 minutes. When thinking about a creature, I have to really think about the person inside and how they will be able to completely become that creature. An intense engineering feat!

The Clam

I realized that I never posted any of my Clam saga -- It all began a couple years ago...I was trying to create a sculpture that was a sphere that you could roll around wasn't quite working as I had imagined it and it just wasn't quite right. I just kept staring at it. Finally, I stuck some eyes on it and Bam! It became The Clam. Last year I was given the opportunity to expand upon the Clam and have a show in the Rotunda at the Hopkins Center at Dartmouth. I made around 20 different clams of all different sizes. There was also the added character of The Bird. Every couple days I changed the arrangement of all the clams, telling the story of The Bird. The Bird came into the "Clam Tank" as I liked to call first the Clams weren't too sure about it. Then the Bird told her story and it ended in a big party, Birds and Clams friends forever! Another component of the piece was the Escape Clam. This was the original clam. Every now and then he would 'escape' from the tank and run around campus. Thank you to all who performed in the Clam! And there you have it! I'm currently working on a children's book featuring the clam and his adventures...can't wait to finish!

This was inspired in part by the Bag Creature project -- also a performance piece. Again, a focus on story, interaction, and humanity, found in the strangest of places! While continuing work on the bag creatures, I can't help but think about the clams and how they are related -- what I can use from that experience in these new performances.