We Are The Ships. You Are The River, Bridge Exhibition 2018 with the City of Eugene and DUBCAT (envisioned as a three part project)
Before I start I want to give the most thanks to Valentina (VRGNZ) and Dain Kaldahl for making this project a reality with me! Huge thanks also needs to be extended to WildCraft Ciders and Forest Paints for the enormous role they played in helping us out as well. I also need to thank our wonderful curator Lillian Almeida and Kerry Weeks.
For the 2018 BRIDGE Exhibition with the city of Eugene’s Cultural Services, myself and two other members of DUBCAT (Valentina Gonzalez, and Dain Kaldahl)-a part of the Whiteaker Community Art Team were chosen to construct a site specific art installation downtown, for inclusion in the visual arts week festivities. Our work with the Whiteaker Community Art Team focuses on providing art opportunities for artists, creating projects, and general support of the Whiteaker neighborhood in Eugene, OR.
The following excerpt is from our initial proposal for the project:
We are the Ships, You are the River
Our piece entitled, “We are the ships, You are the river,” is centered around ideas of identity, loss, and memory both collective and individual. As a neighborhood that is approaching the crossroads of a character shift and reformation, we find it profoundly interesting to present those struggles and questions in visual form. Through our exploration of the piece we seek to call into question the perception of the neighborhood, and how that forms our sense of communal distinctiveness and disappearance. In other words, it is our goal to bring some of the unique characteristics of the Whiteaker into downtown both figuratively and literally, to illustrate our point about personal and cultural sacrifice.
Materials start to coalesce in the swamp van…a van that became more alive than not, more outdoors than indoors.
Construction materials start to intermingle right from the beginning…
A gracious host, Wild Craft Ciders, emerges to let us perform our magic in the back…
…where we have an abundance of inspiration (and cider) to keep us motivated.
The dreams start to become reality.
Onward and upward.
The layout of the frame emerges.
Our first 12 foot section of frame is erected. It stands at 10 feet tall.
The juxtaposition of materials becomes apparent already.
Some finishing materials start to collect.
Interesting shapes hide in plain sight.
Our main goal was to tell the story of our conflicting feelings toward the ‘progress’ in the neighborhood, which was primarily seen and felt through the lens of gentrification, renovation, and whitewashing much of the history and culture of the neighborhood. The way we wanted to tell that story was by contrasting different wood materials, in their varying states from raw to finished, to attempt to illustrate our point.
The sliver thing started to get really real…
Never forsake the gods you serve…
The “coyote fences” start to take shape for the first 12 foot section of the tunnel.
The beginning of the layout and laying in the textures to build from.
Valentina Gonzalez (VRGNZ) at work.
Dain Kaldahl the artist at work.
Progress on the right.
Progress on the left side.
The trusty truck in the back by the cooling towers.
The iconic image…
Our favorite little helper Florence came through to tighten things up.
Another load of sticks starts to cramp the space!
Home sweet home…
Val krushin’ it…
Dain on the stain.
The truck with the coyote fences arrives and we are feeling glorious! Installation day officially kicks off!
The backside of our installation site. (the breezeway)
The front side of the breezeway.
Our first load of sticks arrives…
Deliriousness sets in early in the late July heat.
It’s all coming together…
Huge thanks to Troy Danks tree service for another large load of sticks for section one of our installation. Section one aka ‘the nest.’
Off to the alley they go…
Let the weirdness begin.
One side of the tunnel wall in its new home…
…and the other one.
Huge thanks to John!
We couldn’t have done it without Danny…
Dain and Val inspecting ‘the nest’ in progress.
Time to get serious about erecting these monstrosities.
The walls are up! Time to call it a night.
Lee still grinding the next morning.
Huge progress on the nest.
The middle “transition” section starts to come to life with a mix of natural elements and more rough pieces of processed wood.
Lots of detail getting added.
Our trusty ladder looks proud of all of our work.
Both sides looking tremendous!
Last little details get worked out. The vertical boards get painted the same color as the background walls.
The final finished piece!
Time to take the piece down after a very successful visual arts week!
We clearly worked really hard and had a lot of fun. Exhibit A.
Almost all cleaned up.
The circle is complete and the sticks go back to nature having helped us illustrate our point about progress, growth, survival, and renewal.