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

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Closed for the year

Today is the last day that Governors Island is open to the public. All the artists have taken down their installations or are in the process of doing so. Dan had volunteered to help me take the knitting down, which turned out to be an enormous help, and I cannot thank him enough for his work and efforts. We had originally planned on going Friday September 23rd, but the weather forecast for the weekend was so abysmal, that we decided to chance it, and wait until Saturday. It was a wise decision. After installing in torrential rains in May, after installing my second Knit for Trees in Vermont in more rainfall, I have finally beaten the precipitation curse, and we took down the artwork in gray, but otherwise dry conditions.

The installation was, for me, a great success: not only did it look the way I anticipated, it also gave me a lot of confidence as an artist. Confidence to tackle ambitious projects, and confidence that I can realize the ideas in my head, and have them be received positively. Here is the final photo of Knit for Trees before de-installation:

We started working around noon, and it took us a little over 4 hours, working pretty steadily, to take all the panels down. Here I am taking down the very first panel:

And Dan hard at work (he does seem to be enjoying himself though!):

I had gotten some concerns and questions from visitors about potential damage to the trees from the plastic wrapping. Concerns about plastic panels making it likely that the trees would grow mold or be more susceptible to diseases. Not only was the bark on all the tree trunks healthy and essentially dry by the time we left Governors Island, we also found thriving little ecosystems in the knitting. Bugs, from ants to cicadas, seem to have found the panels to make a perfect home. We unfortunately had to evict the largest spider we have ever seen (she temporarily moved to a non-knitted tree, and we apologize for any inconvenience!):

I had the honor of cutting the last thread of the last panel. We later rewarded ourselves with a large brownie!

At last all the panels were down, dried as best as possible before they began their journey back to my studio, where they will be dismantled, rolled into new balls of yarn, and used in the next project. I was pleasantly surprised to see that the panels were in very good condition, with just a few colors (notably the yellows) that had faded slightly.

Figment Sculpture Garden 2011 is over, and it was an amazing journey. Thank you to all who have helped me realize this project: I could not have done it without you!