So I am so excited to be done with my installation at the Minnesota Center for Book Arts. I finished last night at 6 pm and treated myself to some Thai before driving back from the cities. I am so pleased with the results. This is the first time I have created a site specific piece and I think it worked out well. The center has just completed a major site renovation which has moved their retail space to the front window. At the end of this space is an approximately 16x4.5x5 foot space that, although had a beautiful floor to ceiling window, was used as storage. The director, Jeff Rathermel, decided to repurpose this space as an installation gallery which would change four times a year. I am the first artist to use the space. Jeff put in a faux floor that was painted white so I could drill into it to secure the hands. He was kind enough to help me get the panel attached to the wall before I started with the hands (I am not a fan of ladders). Each hand is secured on a small dowel drilled into the floor. Then I made stitches from the eyelets on the hands back to the panel, or between hands. I was concerned about keeping the tension of the stitches from the hands to the panel, but it was nothing that a little double sided tape and carefully placed brads couldn't take care of. I was also concerned that the piece wouldn't engage enough of the space, but I was able to get thread to about a height of six feet on the panel, with stitched hands coming out at varying depths from the panel. I couldn't get it all with my iPhone, but hopefully my talented photographer husband can. I used 15 hands in total, and only had one finger break. It was fun to realize someone was watching me while I worked and turn around to see their reaction. One young lady gave me a big smile and then came in to ask about it. She said "It really was so beautiful to just stumble upon, and at first I thought I would take a picture. But I realized I want to come back and see it some more." What a lovely thing to say, and I am so lucky to have this opportunity! Here are some pictures from when I finished the install. It was dark, snowing and blowing when I finished, so I have yet to get an image from the sidewalk outside the window. Hopefully soon! I did drive by and it was beautifully lit. If you are in the cities and have an opportunity to see it, please let me know what you think. There are also two book shows opening in the space on Friday, 1/9/15 as well.
I am still deciding on a title. I am the worst at that. I did ask a dear writer friend for thoughts and he suggested "Hand Job." I know. I've still got tonight to decide. And now I am going to work out and then eat some holiday M&M chocolate biscotti I just made. Happy new year!