Wednesday, October 8, 2014

for the beacon sukkah project

'A sukkah is a house that gives no shelter, a house that parodies the idea of security. It's a Jewish sand mandala of a building, open to the sky and used for seven days around the time of the fall harvest and then dismantled. It's rickety and tenuous, creating the illusion of permanence and highlighting the impermanence of everything… Beacon Hebrew Alliance will contemplate and celebrate these universal themes of ephemerality and transience in Open to the Sky: The Beacon Sukkah Project, which will be at Polhill Park (by the Beacon Visitors' Center) October 8-16.'
I helped install the artwork in the sukkah today, using wood and twine to hang the pieces like scrolls against the sunlit walls of cloth. Above, the roof frame laid with bamboo made soft rustling sounds in the wind.

As for my contribution.. The leaf painting in the center of my piece is from a larger portrait I made many years ago of a dear friend, for a show with the theme 'Influence'. That part, painted beyond her laughing face, was inspired by looking down into dark water at bright fallen leaves swirling on the surface. It became its own painting which I kept for a long time, but it ceased to mean what it once had. The seasonal transition is an obvious example of impermanence, but in this work it also signifies, to me, how a piece of art can shift in personal meaning over time. Holding onto a work to evoke memory or sentiment isn't always necessary. I liked the idea of integrating it into this patchwork quilt-like piece for the sukkah, passing it on to be seen again in a new way for a new purpose.

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