I had originally planned to hang my pieces close to the walls, using the lip of the wall as the place to anchor them. But when I arrived, I saw that the library staff had hung winter decorations in the open space between the floors – which, of course, got me thinking about installing in the middle of the space. And as it turns out, Urbana is such a recent building that the framing is all aluminum studs, and the lip was impossible to hang from.
So I built a grid out of string, and anchored it to a bit of 1×4 decorative molding – which also happened to be the most solid thing on the walls. And once the Urbana librarians saw where we planned to hang the work, they decided to move the decorations that had been hanging at the first floor level, up to the second floor level.
Overall, I’m quite happy with the installation – there’s an alien, flighty, floaty, sea animal sense to the pieces, which I feel is worth pursuing. The title for the piece – A Conspiracy of Fishes – came to me after I was done putting it up, and is definitely a result of those alien, animal shapes.
The two things I’m not happy about are:
The uncontrolled lighting – After everything was hung, we discovered that the lights on the walls can not be adjusted, so I lost the element of shadows.
Hanging apparatus – After I’d hung the whole thing, I realized the string – which disappears when viewed from below – is very obvious when the piece is viewed from above.
Materials: Staples; Black and white 16mm films withdrawn from the Gettysburg College Library: a short biology film titled “Cell Division,” a 2-reel documentary on Mt Athos, and short film about football, narrated by John Madden.
About the author: A sculptor living and working in Northern Virginia, Alex is fascinated by mummies, volcanoes, continental drift and the concept of zombies. She spends her days doing social media and reference work at the public library, and is a fiercely geeky proponent of all things informational. You can find her online at http://alexzealand.blogspot.com/. A Conspiracy of Fishes was first published on December 5.