I’ve created a scene using sculpture to reflect the process I often experience when working with children and adults.The giraffes are watching the birth of starfish in varying stages of loss, pain and regrowth. The resilience and determination is often so great that one can only give thanks for being allowed to witness such spirit.
A concise 6-month history of the Chef’s Garden: in January, on the cold grey day of my first visit to Chebeague Island, I stood on a lawn at the Inn and was asked there to create a Chef’s Garden.
In March, enthusiasm was high. The chef offered his list of desired plants and my friends at Frinklepod Farm, Noah Wentworth and Flora Brown, started the vegy, herb and flower seedings; David Buchanan, of Portersfield Cider, shared advice on berries and stone fruits; Nance Klehm, from the Seed Temple in Estancia, New Mexico, sent seeds of the 4 sisters: Corn, Pole Beans, Winter Squash and Sunflowers.
In April, Chuck Varney, of Second Wind Farm on Chebeague Island, plowed and turned the sod, we amended the soil, and then tilled to break the clumps. We had neither time nor materials to sheet mulch; on the island, bulk compost and mulch are available only if barged over in a dump truck, so we have worked with the soil at hand. The ground laid fallow a few weeks and then we worked our way across the field picking out roots and clumps of dried grass.
In late-May, on a rain-drenched day, Noah and I hauled across the bay crates filled with the starts and seeds: japanese eggplants, red and white onions, varieties of tomatoes, peppers, butternut and buttercup squash, bush beans, radishes, carrots, beets, slicing cucumbers, and a potager’s array of herbs and flowers. Some seeds failed to germinate. Some plants have been slow to take root. Overall, the garden is flowering and fruits are forming on the vines.
How wonderful to see an idea coming to fruition, and to know that customers have been fed from our shared efforts.
The giraffes have long awaited the next members to the foil/tape sculpture family.
A single starfish has emerged which seems to sing of loss, hope and rebirth. When an arm is lost a new grows back. Loss is so clearly a point of transition from one state to another.
There is no stagnation only movement towards rebirth. Let the process shine.
In my work as an Art Therapist and Licensed Counselor, I am helping adolescents and adults dealing with substance abuse issues. We have been creating “altered books” as a means for journaling and self-expression. I have come to see the altered book as a metaphor for the physical body, and its alteration from substance abuse.
I am using hardcover books – cast-offs gathered from friends and the local Goodwill thrift store – that my clients have reinvented and redefined to hold words, images and transformed paper; the altered book releases feelings and communicates ideas. Covers are collaged and fixed with Mod Podge, and then about 1/3 of the existing pages are torn out from the book to relieve the binding and allow space to add new works.
This has been a powerful art experience for everyone. While there are wildly creative and endless possibilities, here are a few images from my own journal just to give the idea. A special thanks to those friends who have rallied to collect books for this ongoing project.