Sunday, November 16, 2008

After a Blissful Hike, Some Time in the Studio

It's a day of gratitude. Having come through so many health and emotional crises this year, we have found ourselves on a gentle plateau looking out at the vista. Bob and I took an impromptu hike down our hill with the intention of finding salmon leaping in our local creek (one of two creeks in the south Puget Sound that is unobstructed and allows salmon to jump up it). The water was too low, but we did find a new trail, a gift from the Land Trust. It took us across the creek and then up through meadows unlike any I've seen locally. We both felt transported to upstate NY or Vermont. It was truly a delight, with all the late autumn colors and birds of all sorts were stirred up by our arrival. I am now determined to add this hike to my normal one - up the hill, following the trails of the equestrian park.

Now I am in the studio contemplating my next projects for the first time in a long while. The marathon of writing the book is over, and the next steps for its production are mostly out of my hands, so my brain is beginning to ease into another chapter. It is a chapter influenced by tightening already tight budgets, and figuring out priorities.

The first steps must be organized towards writing grants to support my sabbatical projects - an eco-art piece on Vashon, and researching community-based, socially engaged art in South America. I want to build networks abroad with all sorts of people involved in this work. Whether the funding will arrive for both pieces is unclear, but I am putting the energy out to make it possible.

The eco-art piece may deal with the former use of the equestrian park - Paradise Ridge once housed missile silos armed with nukes - it was a NIKE base 1956-74, and there is evidence that during those later years the missiles were from the Hercules series and armed with nuclear weapons. For someone who has done lots of work on nuclear nightmares, and who had her thyroid gland removed due to cancer caused by radiation, this is something significant to contemplate and make art about. Nuked Notes could resurrect itself as a site-specific project easily accessible on the local trails as well as an artist's book. We will see.

Another project is a gardening piece - a remediation art project for the Beall greenhouses in the center of the island. The garden will be filled with altars and signage, and have interactive parts. I am excited about all of this.

I feel privileged to have the time and resources to even meditate about these possibilities. I hope my health continues to stay in an even keel so that I can pursue all of them.

No comments: