After six months of collecting cardboard tubes, today was the last day to add more rolls to the reef. Now that I have gotten over the fear of not completing the project, I've been thinking more about the options for displaying in the gallery space.
The reef is not as large as I had expected after collecting tubes for half of a year, and I have built open pedestals which will raise the sculpture off the ground. The gallery space is long and narrow, with only one window that does not provide much sunlight. Rather than light with spots from above, I will be placing the lights on the ground and casting shadows onto the gallery walls. The tops of the pedestals (still covered to prevent scratches) are made out of clear plexiglass to allow the light through.
As the construction of the reef nears completion, I sample different lighting options. The shadow is being used not only as a formal element that adds a dramatic, theatrical effect, but it also is a visual metaphor for casting light onto an issue.
It would be a lie to say I am not frustrated by the incredibly slow speed of this project. The most challenging element, by far, is the glue. Yes, the same glue I had to extensively research and special order and have delivered at a snail's pace. This adhesive is turning out to be a little less than ideal (for me) as it takes hours to dry and requires being taped down. I am not accustom to working at anything less than a manic-like pace. This project requires an extreme amount of patience, which is not something I always have when creating art. I am often working on several tangential projects simultaneously, and it has been difficult at times to return day after day to the same work. Unlike when I can become blissfully engaged with the process, these last few weeks have really felt like work. I have realized that procrastination is self-induced anxiety.
It's at this point in the project that I start to think about authenticity.
Do I stick with this process even though it is much slower for the sake of staying true to the project? (Remember, the slow glue was chosen for its unique recyclable properties) Or, do I move to a quicker method, such as hot glue, and focus more on how the installation will look rather than the initial concept? I am suffering from a moral art dilemma.
Born in New Orleans, LA