Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Walker Terrace Window

Whew, my prints are finally installed in the Walker Terrace Window on the west end of Congress Street in Portland. It was a hot day and hotter yet in that window space which is only 2 1/2 feet wide! What a project. I painted the wall black before lunch, then Deb Whitney from Whitney Artworks helped me hang my prints this afternoon. We hadn't accounted for a door that is part of the back wall. I had to buy a piece of plywood to nail to the door to create an extension. I attached the lefthand print to that, because I couldn't put the print over the door (unless I wanted to be a part of the installation - I would've been sealed inside!) So we had to futz around with that. And after all that the print on the left is crooked. Argh! But I think that I can live with it. My grandmother used to say about a small stain on a piece of clothing, "It'll never been seen on a trotting horse." I hope that the crooked print will never be seen BY the trotting horse, the passerby on the sidewalk. We'll see. I might have to move it around a bit.

Here is my artist statement for the prints:

Blackwork Lovers speaks of a Utopian balancing of anima and animus in the individual psyche, in relationships, and in the outer world. It also tells of a joyful and spiritual connection to nature: Adam and Eve get to stay in The Garden post apple, minus the shame. While working on this diptych I have been inspired by illuminated medieval manuscripts, the Bible, Mexican retablos, the linoleum prints of Kiki Smith and Pablo Picasso, blackwork embroidery, books about birds and flowers, and my dreams.
Here are a couple of comments I've had on my prints:

“Weirdly wonderful” is what comes to my mind. You are very brave to make such unabashedly hopeful imagery.

Wild! They look so elemental. They look.....Polynesian.


Susan Beauchemin said...

I want to see this in person! From the pictures I can't see any sign of the left one sticking out. This is a beautiful window display and it should be up for the whole summer! I like that it fills the space--with so much to see all that great texture in your prints, then the relief frame and the stenciled birds on the window. The messege is timely--we need a balance in all things--always starting with ourselves and reaching out through culture, community, religion--humanity trying to balance an existance with the earth. What does it look like at night?

Susan Beauchemin said...

I shouldn't say window display---would you say installation?, mural? Window display sounds like it just took an afternoon in a days work to come up with some idea, gather things at hand and tack it up--now to get on with stacking shelves.

artslice said...

Wow, it looks fabulous! The 'frames' you made really make the whole installation sing. The comments are really fun to read, is there a book inside the building?

martha miller said...

Hi Brenda and Sue

Thankyou both for the encouraging feedback!

(Sue, your K-Mart days from waaay back when are coming through here - now go stack those shelves! :^)
Actually, it looks really neat at night - I'll take some night shots. The window is lit up - the lights are still on "winter time" - I happen to know this because they came on at 3pm yesterday - just when I thought I couldn't stand for it to be any hotter in that window! Deb and I were sweating like Gramma at the ironing board.

Brenda: no, there is no book in the building. That is a parking garage behind the window! It's the lot for the apartments upstairs. People can go to the Whitney Artworks website and comment though. Their logo and info is in the window.

Don Gray said...

At last, they're installed! They look smashing! (Woops...shouldn't say that about something behind glass :() Congratulations for the ambition and passion you've poured into these wonderful works.

martha miller said...

Thanks, Don!
I love your new Odd Couples paintings!!!

Kori Michele said...

Hey Martha! I live above the flower shop right across from that display! I can see your work from my bedroom window! A couple of days ago Peter said "Wow, look at those great scratch board pieces down there." They're very lovely!

martha miller said...

Hi Kori

How's your summer going? Are you and Peter moving soon? What exactly is scratchboard?

Nice to hear from you! I loved seeing your huge portraits of Leslie, and I especially loved your animated characters in your thesis show. Beautiful!

I also enjoyed seeing Peter's quilts in SPACE Gallery - very cool!