Final Project 

Re-imagining Space: Transforming the Quotidian

ARE 5930C Summer 2018                                                                              

 

Project Goal

Create a site-specific installation that re-imagines a quotidian space in your life, and that engages one or more of the senses.

Project Specifications

Create a fully realized, larger-scale, site-specific installation for a space that is common to your daily life. Any medium or combination of mediums may be utilized to engage one or more of the viewer's senses. The challenge will be not only to create an ambitious artwork that is strong in concept and aesthetics, and is satisfying to you an artist, but also to document the space in a way that will allow the instructor and online colleagues to engage with it, even though we will not be able to experience it in person.

Final Project Reflection

In considering my documentation of the process, I would have added video of the actual construction of the bird nest so viewers could experience the sounds of the materials and see how they were layered as it happened. I had hoped for a photo or video of wildlife exploring the nest and resources and I plan to keep a watch to still record that part. A suggestion was to remove the music from the video so I re-edited it and I also removed the enhanced sounds so that any sound in the video was exactly as it was during the recording. Working with nature and found resources helped me make connections with life's perspective. I plan to continue working in and with nature in the future. I do have ideas for another nest but with a more decorative aspect and possibly on a smaller scale. 

"Purpose"

While gathering and constructing the large scale nest, I found it to be very peaceful. I could hear birds chirping while I worked and I thought about life and the purpose that nests provides. Exploring nature and using only what I could find, I felt connected with my surroundings and with myself and my abilities. As I was layering the items that I found, I kept wanting to "decorate" it to make it look more appealing but reminded myself what the projects purpose was and to keep my perspective so that it remained meaningful.

Artist Statement

This piece is an exploration of creating an environment using found materials as birds do to build their nests for the purpose of raising their young.  As humans, the materials we throw away can sometimes find their way into nature and into nests.  Nests represent life and this piece is a thoughtful way to consider and reflect on all life through exploring and creating with materials found in nature.

Reflection on Feedback/Progress Report 5/20/18

I had great feedback and suggestions on this project. One idea given was the use of hair from a hairbrush that I could incorporate as a material in the nest which is great because birds sometimes use silk/web. Another suggestion was that nest could possibly be used as a seating place. I had thought about that originally but I decided that I would tilt the nest so that viewers could see the inside easily so the placement will be similar to seating but I will leave it for wildlife to use. One question asked was if I would need an assistant and I do have one lined up just in case. I will mix my own mud if I cannot find enough in my yard but with all of the rain I might have enough. I have collected most of the items needed which included sticks, pine cones, hay, old fence boards and pine needles. I plan to add more soft materials towards the end. I initial construction will take some time in working out but once the base is down, the working of the branches should go nicely and be secured well with mud, hay and pine needles.

Image Source: The Nest by Nils Udo

 

Further Brainstorming/Research 5/20/18

After learning more about Andy Goldsworthy and being fascinated about his use of sticks in

watching “Sticks and Tides: A Tribute to Andy Goldsworthy”, I began thinking about

constructing using sticks and other materials and remembered a bird nest that I came across.

I thought it would be fun to create a nest, just how birds do with only using found materials.

In researching more, I came across Nils Udo, an artist from Germany that created “Nest in Red Clay” in 2005 where he used pine trunks and bamboo and “The Nest” in 1978 where he used stones, grass and silver birch. These nests are perfectly constructed and help me with my views on how I want my nest to be. The clay in “Nest in Red Clay” was a metaphor for birth and life which aligns with my thoughts on why I want to construct a nest. 

 

I want the viewer to feel connected with nature and consider what nests mean to birds and how people can relate to them. In learning about the materials used from Nils Udo, I do plan on finding found materials on my property including hay and pinecones as well as leaves, branches and sand to create a mud. I’ve decided on the exact location which will be on the ground against a pine tree in my yard. It is appropriate as I spend a lot of time there listening and watching birds. Considering the time frame needed, I believe it will be between 5-10 hours to construct. I’m curious to see how the wildlife will use this piece when it is complete and I plan to take photos and record how it fits into nature.

On-site Found materials 

Images Source: Karey Mortimer

 

Brainstorming 5/13/18

I recently found an old bird nest and looked at the contents used. I found small sticks, hair, snakeskin and even pieces of plastic. I began thinking about my home and materials used to build it and the materials within the home that I buy or make to use functionally or for decoration. I found it fascinating to think about the work birds put into their nests for the purpose of raising their young and keeping them safe. I found we have similar intentions but the methods are very different.

I spend time on my back porch listening to nature’s music fest and watching wildlife go about their day and I wanted to focus on those moments and connect with them. I researched how birds build nests and what common materials they use. Found objects that I have so far are old wood from our fence, vines, pine needles, pine cones, leaves, web, mud, etc. The idea is to use found objects outside that are safe for wildlife to borrow from when the installation is complete. I plan to build the outside frame with old wood and then other found soft materials for the inside. I have an old door from my husband’s great grandfather’s house that I want to incorporate to represent “home”. My idea after construction is to record video and sounds of nature. I will then leave the installation outside and record how wildlife my use the installation for their own purposes.

Image Source: The Prairie Ecologist

 

Final Project Proposal

For the final project, I am going to make a large-scale bird cupping nest on the ground. This piece will be a permanent installation and I will record how it might be used from creatures in nature over time.

Concept:

This piece is an exploration of creating an environment using found materials as birds do to build their nests using resources that are available to them in nature. After watching birds and looking through the contents of old birds’ nests, I thought about how resourceful birds can be in creating a safe environment to raise their young. In those nests, I found leaves, branches, snake skin and even plastic. It made me think about as humans, the materials we use to build our houses and the materials we throw away that can sometimes find their way into nature.  I want the viewer to get a sense that we can create from found resources in the same way and to consider the materials we use and their impact on nature. I want viewers to be inspired to take note of the nature, birds and other creatures around them and see what they find. And if possible, create something to give back to nature.

Materials/Method:

For building a large-scale bird cupping nest, I will be using sticks, mud, pinecones, leaves, pine needles, pine cones and any other appropriate materials I find from nature. I will be using pieces of old large 2x4 wood for constructing a frame for the nest will be around 5ft x 5ft. I will construct the frame and then lay the sticks on top of one another as I go around the nest using mud to keep them in place.

Location:

The location is on the ground against a pine tree in my backyard and the space I will use in approximately 8f x 8ft. It feels like an appropriate spot as I spend a lot of time there listening and watching birds.

References:

I was inspired by Andy Goldsworthy use of sticks in his nature installations and

Nils Udo’s large nest installations. The clay in Udo’s “Nest in Red Clay”

was a metaphor for birth and life which aligns with my thoughts on

why I want to construct a nest.   

Budget:

I plan to use found materials from my property that are non-toxic to nature. 

Timeline:

This timeline for the installation will be during a period of 5 days with a

maximum of 2 hours per day with documenting the progression.

Day 1: Gather and build frame using found heavy wood.

Day 2: Mix mud and begin laying in the sticks, pine cones and any other scratchy

found materials.

Day 3: Continue building up the nest walls and start gathering softer found materials

in nature to lay into the bottom nesting area.

Day 4: Start laying in the softer materials and fix any areas that weather could have affected.

Day 5: Make final adjustments and touches. Record final piece to upload to web.

Brainstorming

I recently found an old bird nest and looked at the contents used. I found small sticks, hair, snakeskin and even pieces of plastic. I began thinking about my home and materials used to build it and the materials within the home that I buy or make to use functionally or for decoration. I found it fascinating to think about the work birds put into their nests for the purpose of raising their young and keeping them safe. I found we have similar intentions but the methods are very different.

I spend time on my back porch listening to nature’s music fest and watching wildlife go about their day and I wanted to focus on those moments and connect with them. I researched how birds build nests and what common materials they use. Found objects that I have so far are old wood from our fence, vines, pine needles, pine cones, leaves, web, mud, etc. The idea is to use found objects outside that are safe for wildlife to borrow from when the installation is complete. I plan to build the outside frame with old wood and then other found soft materials for the inside. I have an old door from my husband’s great grandfather’s house that I want to incorporate to represent “home”. My idea after construction is to record video and sounds of nature. I will then leave the installation outside and record how wildlife my use the installation for their own purposes.

Inspirational material images

Images Source: Wix