Friday, August 20, 2021

Mosaic Feather Sculpture Installation - Part 3 of 5


The installation of these sculptures did not go as planned or as hoped. In the previous posts, Part 1 and Part 2, I touched upon the unforeseen circumstances with having to plan a big move during the pandemic as well as during the sleepless months following the birth of my second son.  We had to temporarily install the 6 sculptures in an ungrouted state - I ran out of time unfortunately. We debated moving the sculptures to our new house where I'd be able to take my time with the grouting but that would come with many of its own challenges. So we planned to grout at a later time.


Above you can can get a tiny glipmse into our installation which took many trips and so much effort. Our little Wesley was just a little peanut and he was there every step of the way.

Additionally our then 2.5 year old son Ethan was helping daddy prep the installation site which consisted of lots of measuring, then digging/drilling 6 holes for the steel culverts that would line up and be somewhat level =) 

There was so much testing involved with each feather that would go in. Kyle did an exceptional job juggling it all, especially considering his underage of a toddler, a newborn and a postpardum Kasia.This was really hard for me to do as well but we all came together because we had no other option. I just spent most of my pregnancy working on this special project and we couldn't let it fall apart this late in the game. Securely pacing and moving all the unfinished sculptures from Alamosa to Pagosa Springs and then eventually back to Mosca seemed even more daunting.

 It is safe to say that Ethan is a mid-level assistant at this point hahahaha

Here I am with my little master pieces - specifically my two little rays of sunshine. Ethan was so curious during the whole process and so willing to give a helping hand along every step of the way. Despite his huge enthusiasm, this was a bit challenging for the parents lol But look how happy and proud he was.

And I must highlight our tiny little nugget here. Wesley was literally a newborn in early Spring 2020 during this time. He was getting a very realistic glimpse into the struggles of artists as we barely pulled this off (I touched upon this more in Part 1 of this series of posts). He was a good sport ... I think ... this whole thing was actually so exhausting, that I don't remember much anymore. At that point, I was still not really sleeping, you know that whole night feeding thing with newborns - wow - that was really intense but we made it!

Sometimes, when people looked at the finished product, and for a large project, it may be difficult to imagine what measures the artists had to take to really make that happen. For us, there was a lot of improvising with this one, mainly due to unforeseen circumstances with an unplanned move to a different part of Colorado and needing to get these feathers out of our old studio. I couldn't do any lifting at this point, still recovering from giving birth. So Kyle strapped on the lifting belt around his waist and did the work of 2 people, lifting and moving everything. And here you can see our high-tech machinery used to move the sculptures to location. If there is a will, there is a wary, right? 

 
These may be 'feathers' but they were definitely not light, especially the two biggest ones.  But a father of a new born has super powers, at least I am lucky that this one does <3

If you are wondering why are we doing this all by ourselves and you missed the other posts about it. This was right at the beginning of the Covid Pandmic in 2020. We could not ask anyone for help but it needed to be done before a deadline of sorts.

Euphoria does not fully describe the feeling we felt once the 6 feathers were safely but temporarily installed at our sculpture park. This was the day before our move. We were actually busy cleaning our house until our property manager (not our landlord), had a worker cover the wooden parts of the outside of the house with boiled linseed oil and the fumes quickly began to seep into our whole place. Remember, we have a newborn and a toddler, and she was fully aware of this and that we were cleaning the place so that we could get our deposit back the next day. Anyway we had to drop everything and leave the house so as not to endanger the baby - for anyone out there, these type of fumes can actually suffocate a newborn. (And on another fun side note, eventually I assume because we left the house in better shape than when we moved in there, we were accused of breaking a window and stood to loose our deposit - note: the window was actually cracked from the outside, like when a rock chips a windshield in a car - this was clearly seen in photos that were provided to us ... yup, all this insanity and more was happening during this lovely feather project.) So back to the Euphoria ... we did not think we'd have time to place all feathers in their stands but because we had to leave our house, the extra few hours of fresh air were obviously utilized to do more work lol

I was sooooooo tired and sad and exhausted because of the chapter we were closing in Alamosa but at the same time, I was thankful and happy for the time we had there and all that we accomplished. I'll write more on the meaning of this installation but will just mention that feathers are considered to be a good omen from above and it could not be more appropriate for us to spend our last day living in Alamosa and moving from a place where we had an abusive property manager, probably escaping other abuse from her. We ended up moving to a really beautiful place to a house that is owned by a really sweet woman. I believe it was a gift from the Universe - we'll take it!

So we celebrated, we laughed and I felt like I should cry because there were so many emotions but tears weren't meant to flow that day, at least not here in our special place. Here I was happy because we still have this place, our little patch of the high desert where we get to realize our crazy creative ideas and marvel at the natural beauty of the San Luis Valley. 


How could this view not make us happy? Right? Yes, still most of the feathers still needed to be grouted on both sides and the installation would need to be completed months from this day but still it at least looked done from a distance. Much more work was put into it on our future excursions from Pagoas Springs which is a 2 hour drive. Pretty crazy how this project just kept on going, and going and going to what seemed like infinity. But today we have these awesome feathers set against this beautiful and powerful mountain. And we built a whole trail around them and we LOVE walking around there, especially at sunset, seeing the feathers from all different directions, during different seasons and weather patterns is a gift.

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