I want to say one word to you. Just one word.... Plastics.”
Mr. McGuire, The Graduate

Monday, August 22, 2011

The last days of summer...

Over the summer, many people have knitted with me, and their contributions were finally added on Friday afternoon. I took a leisurely trip to Governors Island, and added all those panels to the branches of the large tree. I must admit that I wished then that I could keep going with adding panels and finish all the trees on the path near me. I will also admit I am running out of steam so, in a way, my low energy level cancels my regrets!

I am truly impressed by the number of panels visiting knitters were able to make, and would like to thank everyone who has contributed to this project: from donating and cutting bags, to knitting one row, to knitting several panels. The project was successful because of the generous help I received since February.

Friday was a slow day at work for me so I took that opportunity to make a mini-knitted tree for the artists who have a mini-city installation next to me. I choose a branch that would most look like a small tree, and covered it with extra tiny panels I had, then knitted bands of blue, red and yellow. The tree survived two subway trips, and a massive cat attack, but was not sturdy enough for the visitors to Governors Island. Within an hour of being installed, the tree was broken, one of its branches dangling like a broken wing. I had not taken photos of the tree at home, but here is a photo after the accident:

The past few mornings have been pretty cold, and ads are running for back to school supplies. The project is almost over. My last knitting circle will be next weekend, followed by our celebration picnic Sept. 3. It has been a truly amazing project, which has given me confidence and energy to make more art. Governors Island is open to the public until the end of September, so come on by if you still haven't visited this year!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Gearing up for Vermont

As the Governors Island project is winding down, I am getting ready for the show in Vermont. The Carving Studio and Sculpture Center in Rutland, Vermont, has accepted the Knit for Trees installation, as part of their SculptFest 2011. This show (which is called Forces of Nature) will open Saturday September 10th in Rutland. I recently received the dimensions for the trees, as well as a photo for the site. Needless to say I am very excited about it, and I am furiously knitting in order to have 5 trees done for the opening. The trees are all birch trees, so I decided to make more colorful panels with bands of colors (yellow, blue and black) at the top,  bottom, and in the middle of each tree. Here is a photo of the site sans panels. I will post photos in September when the installation is complete:

I am not abandoning Governors Island quite yet, however. I am planning on a quick trip to the island on Friday to install all the panels that were knitted on site. They will go on the large tree branches and complete the Knit For Trees on Governors Island.

I am also planning a Labor Day picnic for all the knitters, bag cutters, bag givers and general supporters. This will be a GREEN potluck picnic, September 3 from noon to 4. Bring your own drink and food to share. This will mark the end of the knitting circle, but the installation will stay up until the last weekend of September so you still have time to see it!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Art and Science

For the past two weeks, I have been noticing very large bugs hanging from the knitted panels. A visitor told me they were cicadas that had molted so I was actually seeing a shell of a bug, not an actual bug. Of course I had to go to Wikipedia to find out more:
"After mating, the female cuts slits into the bark of a twig, and into these she deposits her eggs. When the eggs hatch, the newly hatched nymphs drop to the ground, where they burrow. Most cicadas go through a life cycle that lasts from two to five years. The nymphs feed on root juice and have strong front legs for digging.In the final nymphal instar, they construct an exit tunnel to the surface and emerge. They then molt (shed their skins) on a nearby plant for the last time and emerge as adults. The abandoned skins remain, still clinging to the bark of trees."
This means a few things: the nymphs were there in May, feeding underneath the ground when I installed the panels, which I hate to admit is a little creepy. But more importantly, it means that cicadas are art appreciators, and will choose to cling to beautiful trees for the last stage of their childhood! It can also mean that knitted plastic easily traps twigs and dead bugs. One or the other. In any case, below are a few photos of the skins!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Yes I have been neglecting my blog...

Work and my age have been catching up with me lately, and I have been neglecting Governors Island and my blog a little. Our dear friends John and Theresa came down from Boston for a quick visit last weekend. We spent Saturday on Governors Island and I taught them how to knit (Theresa was quickly converted). And I skipped going on Sunday... and I also skipped writing about the weekend on Monday...and taking a short break felt really good...

But it really feels like the lazy days of summer are upon us: so few visitors came on Saturday that I started to wonder if the entire city had gone to the Hamptons. I must admit I felt a little guilty skipping a day... I will try and have better attendance in the next few weeks that I have left with this project, I promise!

I also need to report that I will do a similar installation in Vermont in early September, so Knit for Trees will stay alive and well for a little while longer. The installation will be at the Carving Studio and Sculpture Center in Rutland VT. More details will be forthcoming, I'm sure.

In the meantime, you can still enjoy Knit for Trees until the end of August.

Of note this weekend on the Island:

Saturday, August 6: Lululemon- Escape to Governors Island, 10 AM - 5 PM, Colonel's Row
New York City's first-ever bold collaboration of yoga, community and music on Governor's Island! All are welcome to celebrate with us: complimentary admission, open level classes, bring your own mat! More info/class times at http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=169225413144855