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THE CYCLE OF GROWTH

It seems such a short time since we started building the tree — and now it is coming down. It only took about an hour to take it down (we had a lot of help), and then another 30 minutes to pack it into a truck. We started right after the reception on Sunday and we were done by 3.30 pm.

It is a mix of feelings — at times relief, sadness, joy, and so on — the cycle of life. Although we have been focusing on growth for the past year and the past month, senescence and decay are strong and vital parts of the overall cycle. The thoughts we have as it comes down, the memories of the year, the ideas generated, the textures and images — all will enter into our own personal artistic cycles and inevitably will be part of our next pieces, upcoming installations, and personal paths.

We understand there is a review of the work coming out in THE Magazine (the premier monthly arts mag here in Santa Fe), so that will be posted when it appears in the next day or so.

Many, many thanks to our community of colleagues, friends, family, and supporters. And special thanks to Carol Meine (Mesa Public Library Gallery Curator) and the library staff. For everyone, your interest and comments have been encouraging and generous, and definitely helped us keep the blog going. It has been wonderful to realize there is a wide diversity of what appeals to people, and that many aspects of the work were integrating in ways we did not anticipate. We are grateful to the beautiful space created by the architect of the library — the space supported the work, and it was an intimate part of what we built and how accessible it became to the public. The sense of discovery as one entered the gallery was intriguing to all — the tree had a unique place to grow. And finally, we are grateful for the growth process — we have grown because of this process, our work and relationships have changed, creativity has been stimulated, and it’s been fun!

Michelle

Michelle

Catherine

Catherine

falling branches

falling branches

it is down

it is down

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CLOSING RECEPTION

The closing reception on Sunday, November 30, was a success. Many from the community came, as well as friends and family. Several folks from Taos drove in to see the show, as well as artist colleagues from Santa Fe. Fairley had family from San Diego, Albuquerque and Santa Fe there. We had a short discussion session in the forum right outside the gallery when people could ask questions.

There was a lot of interest in our process — how did we come up with the ideas (many meetings, making models) , how did we work together (rather well, some challenges), how did we meld our different aesthetics (building on other’s work, expanding our own personal vision), are we still talking to each other (yes!), and finally, are we planning another collaboration — ask us in a year!

families

families

Fairley with grandson Lucca

Fairley with grandson Lucca

discussion

discussion

ENVIRONMENT

Although the tree has grown inside a building, the growth process has linked to the environment in ways we could not have predicted. The mountains of New Mexico are right there, next to us. Growth — it has come to have meaning on many levels, with unexpected metaphors and hints — the tree started in one of the tall bays in the art gallery, but could not be constrained, and grew out into the gallery, around corners, along the floor, across the ceilings. And finally, it has come to represent growth in our own artistic paths and collaborations, in meetings with the community, interactions with friends, and future promise from visits and conversations with young students.

connection to the outdoors

connection to the outdoors

tree

tree

late afternoon

late afternoon

meeting with friends under the tree

meeting with friends under the tree

Shadows and Light

Working in this beautiful place has increased our appreciation for the constantly changing light environment. The building, designed by Antoine Predock, captures light throughout the day in ways that enhance our work, our creativity, and the enjoyment of the installation. Working late into the afternoon and early evening has become a privilege instead of something to avoid. We discovered that each part of the day is to be treasured — the peacefulness and quiet of early morning, the stunning changes in planes of light througout the day, the dramatic shadows of late afternoon, and the subtle shadows of evening — all reveal our work in new ways each time we are in the gallery.

branches

branches

late afternoon, 4.10 pm

late afternoon, 4.10 pm

late afternoon, 4.40 pm

late afternoon, 4.25 pm

evening shadows

evening shadows

evening shadows

evening shadows

TEXTURES

The trunk and branches and roots have such a diversity of textures and colors. From a distance, the textures merge into an impression of bark and wood and treeness, strength and solidity. Close up the papers and twines form a 3-d mosaic of forms and surfaces that pull one in, and create an intimacy that surprises at times. We remember the individual parts of growing the tree — painting the papers with twigs and brushes, dying the twines, rolling and crumpling the papers, wrapping with ropes and threads and wire — and at the same time the interactions of all the pieces is an integrated surface that changes and shades the experience of the various parts of the tree.

TRUNK

TRUNK

BRANCHES

BRANCHES

BRANCHING

BRANCHING

BRANCHES

BRANCHES

ROOTS

ROOTS

21 November

A few details are constantly being changed and adjusted — we move rocks, fatten branches, change the angle of twigs…..and watch the sun and shadows move through the tree and across the walls of the gallery.

Fairley and Catherine (by D. Raish)

Fairley and Catherine (by D. Raish)

Catherine and Fairley  (by D. Raish)

Catherine and Fairley (by D. Raish)

roots

roots

The tree is just about finished. There are small details we are still working on, but the main branches are finished, and the roots have grown in and around the rocks that we brought in on Monday 17th November. We are starting to plan for our Closing Reception on November 30. We will get a final set of pictures up early next week.

roots   (by D. Thayer)

roots (by D. Thayer)