Friday, September 30, 2011

Animal Homes & Sasquatch Sightings in Marfa

I am so happy to see our beautiful photographs again.  They look even greener here in Marfa.

Please join me for an opening reception at Fancy Pony Land
Thursday October 6th, 6-8pm

These photographs are a collaboration between me, Wes Cleaver, Caroline Rankin and Ricki Hill.  I started thinking about them last summer while walking in the woods at Mt. Rainier.  The roots of trees form perfect archways for imaginary animal homes.  Some of them really do house chipmunks and golden mantled ground squirrels.  I thought it would be funny to make entryways and awnings for the holes and leave them in the forest.  I immediately knew this was a project Caroline and I should work on together.  We quickly realized we could make the homes but would need to document them somehow if anyone but squirrels was to see them.  We asked our good buddy Wes Cleaver, a perfectionist photographer from Chicago, to come out to Mt. Rainier and take the pictures.  Ricki Hill, his lovely wife and our frequent co-conspirator, made a bunch of the adorable props in the photos and packed them perfectly for carry-on.  Caroline and Ricki and I met up in August in San Francisco for our show at the Curiosity Shoppe.  I also made felt forest murals, a installation of bracket fungus, pinecone shingle jewelry and moss terrariums with tiny houses inside made of sticks and bark.

My good friend Gina Coffman has an 8 foot tall animatronic gorilla.  And the best part is that you can take the fur suit off and it looks suspiciously like Sasquatch.  We had talked for several years about how Gina wanted to see the suit out walking in the woods.  This summer, with the help of Seth Damm, this dream became a reality.  We took these photographs with a Bushnell motion-activated wildlife camera.  These are the kind of cameras you use to take pictures at a feed station or watering hole.  They go infrared at night and you get those awesome blown-out alien eyed surprised animal portraits.  You can set the number of shots it takes once activated and the interval between shots.  We used it hand-held.

We also took a video with a basic digital camera.  Tom Brierly edited the video into an eerie loop of Sasquatch striding forever through the forest.  The video was projected at night in the front window of the Curiosity Shoppe for the benefit of people stumbling home from the bars.  I'm hoping to get it up and running in Marfa next week.

I made these photos into a set of postcards which you can buy at Fancy Pony Land for $10.  I'm also working on a calendar, but we'll see if it ends up for 2012 or 2013.

Once again, I have to say how much I love working on these projects with friends. 
 Art + friendship = happiness

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