Monday, September 29, 2014

papercut installation

This Friday, October 3. I'm doing my first paper cut installation in the window of Marion and Roses's Workshop, a store in downtown Oakland that I've been working with for several years now, selling the pottery. I've become pals with the owner, Keri, and I was idling around in her store one day when she said, "I need to do something new with this window next month," and I said, "I should do a paper cut display in your window!" 

It took about 6 weeks longer than I thought it would to come up with the concept and actually do the work, but the Oakland Art Murmur is this Friday, so it seemed like a good deadline to actually stick to. Here is my statement about the installation:

I became aware of the annual Monarch butterfly migration when I was living in Santa Cruz, blocks away from a Monarch wintering site in the eucalyptus groves of Natural Bridges State Park. As millions of the butterflies passed overhead, single Monarch wings and dead butterflies could be found throughout my neighborhood, a phenomena  I found mysterious, intriguing, and disturbing. This did not begin to prepare me for the site of the living butterflies in the groves, colorful insects completely covering the trees and hanging off branches in giant teeming clusters. The beauty and strangeness of it has stayed with me for over two decades.

This papercut installation represents my ongoing fascination with the Monarch migration and my awareness of the severe decline in the Monarch population, which has been reduced by over 90% in the past 20 years. This decline is unseen by most people. It is an invisible waning, a silent dissolution that takes with it the transcendent beauty of a natural wonder. With each butterfly papercut I make, the death of the Monarchs becomes seen, if only for a second, and creates its own transcendent and fleeting beauty.

There will be a reception from 5-7 at the store, and we will be giving away free milkweed, the food that Monarch caterpillars survive on, to the first 30 people who want it. Hope to see you there!