This installation is made from 30 wood cubes painted white oriented in 3 pyramidal stacks surrounded by river rocks, branches, and ash from my backyard fire pit. This was for my final critique in my first semester of my second year of graduate school at Western Carolina University. It kind of came together quickly, and needs more fine tuning on the projection mapping which I hope to tackle next. Part of the experience of being in the room is hearing the sounds of the Warren Wilson River and surrounding nature.
The white cubes are 30 in total and have 6 sides. This 6-sided symmetry occurs naturally in nature with the enantiomorphic structures of crystals and snowflakes. My original intent was to use the white cubes only for projection as in the first three photos, but after seeing the painted crates (below) in the environment, I felt compelled to shoot the smaller cubes outside. The first shoot was at the small island, and I was only with my dog Brody in late November. It took 3 trips of me carrying the cubes through the cold water to get them together for the shot. The next trip I brought my friend Danielle Topping and her dog Chibi along with Brody (both small white dogs about the same size as the cubes), and we were able to shoot the cubes in many locations on the Warren Wilson River trail, much to the other trail-goers amusement. They began to represent holes or gaps in the nature, or digital pixels in an organic landscape. The cubes also can be likened to urban sprawl, and man-made buildings or groups of people and families. When placed in a pyramid orientation, prime objects like ancient pyramids are referenced. In the photo above, the inclusion of the moon hints at the eternal cosmos.
The fall series of cubes began as a race with the leaves. A winter snow fall in early November forced me to do a quick paint job on this series of crates to get them out for photos before all the leaves fell and the colors I needed were gone. I shot this series on a brisk clear morning in my neighbor's field. I drove the cubes as close as I can on the road, and then proceeded to place them one by one in the field. My dog Brody and my neighbor's dog Bernie decided to join and help. There is a lot of test shots that go in to getting the lighting and positioning of the cubes correct as well, and I attempt to find connections between the abstract landscape represented in the cube and in the natural environment through color.
The summer series of crates were my first attempt at abstract painting on a 3-dimensional form using the desaturation scale. The entire palette was created from the combination of two complementary colors (yellow-green and purple) that when combined form a neutral grey. The colors matched the rainy summer days of the mountains perfectly, and the abstract lines mimic the horizontal landscape lines. I started taking the cubes into the environment to better communicate this relationship with the color of the landscape. One day at 7 a.m. the fog was perfect for a shot in my neighbor's field. With the help from my dogs Brody and Molly, we were able to sneak a 30-minute shoot in with only one neighbor questioning my motives. The fog shot became one that inspired me to move my work from inside the studio to the outdoors to better connect with the landscape.