suburban siberia

transitioning from Los Angeles back to Edmonton

Month: June, 2014

summer solstice party

So the party is done, the installations were put up successfully and now they have mostly been taken down. I haven’t mentioned it before but the office I work at has a great community spirit and everyone pitched in to organize the party. From the people practicing in the office band (for a month it sounded like our office was above a bar as they practiced in the band space/yoga loft), to the planning committee and the art installation crew we have all put in our fair share of time to help bring the party to greatness. Below are some photos of the installations we put together through out the space:

The paper table: I thought this installation was never going to happen. Coworkers Alex, Tania, Joanne and a few others worked on this with me for two weeks but come install time we had problem after problem. Below are a few install images a long with the finished product. Our ultimate vision was to extend the paper over 30′ like a serial section (the length of the community table) but it seemed  a bit dark so we condensed it over the centre of the table and thinned it out (4″ between each sheet rather than 2″). I wish we could have used the recycled drawings in our office or another type of transparent material but it was tough to find paper light enough that would hang properly. In the end we used brightly coloured 4 ply paper. We also planned to make patterns in the paper but time caught up to us. We also had some expert help from my husband, Levi, and Alex’s boyfriend, Steve. If Levi wasn’t in town that week, to help drill into the concrete, I’m certain this project would not have happened.

photo 1
photo 4 photo 5 photo 6 photo 7 photo 8 photo 9


Stairwell Yarn: These prisms were made by the students, Isabelle, Cara, and Jane at the office as well as our in-house chef, Courtney, and they did a pretty good job. Originally we looked at ideas of using the yarn through out the stairwell but because it was being painted we had limited access to the site. As a solution we placed them inside of triangular shapes – that way we could try to create as many as possible without the pressure of creating one large unifying piece like the community table. Macramé is coming back but as a way to update the craft we tried to match the bright colours from the table and worked inside of an orthogonal shape over a circular one.

photo 10 photo 12photo 16photo 15photo 13

Patio Canopy: This installation was the simplest one. We had grand schemes at first for this space but because the two prior years had inclement weather we decided to try to focus on the interior instead and create something easy to install if the weather was good. I found some ground cover used for frost at the dollar store and it was a significant size, 5′ x 16′, so I bought a few layers and dyed them the previous weekend (see last post) and cut out some patterns. While I thought 5′ x 16′ was a good size for part of the patio I hadn’t considered how tall the mechanical room was, which is what we were hanging the structure from. It was good to see how the height changed it’s reach over the patio because if I had another go I would make it much bigger. Most of these photos are from Joanne, as she took the best photos.

roof top emptycanopy underneath 2canopy underneathcanopy 2photo 23canopy 1

It was great to have some much involvement from my co workers. While I think each installation could have been improved in a few different ways I ‘d say overall they couldn’t have happened without the enthusiasm of the office. Plus the office band was pretty great and they had a good turn out so I’d say it was a great night for the firm.

prism investigations

I’ve been working on a some ideas for my works’ Summer Solstice Patio Party this coming Friday. Thankfully there are a few people at work interested in helping  which means we will be able to make more than one installation for the evening. At first I was trying to design everything around the idea of a cloud but the shape is a too dynamic for the budget and for the number of installations we are trying to create. Once I realized how tough the shape was to deal with (in the mediums we were designating) I first thought to exploit the shape as an etherial installation on the roof deck. But because the weather is unpredictable (as it rained last year) I decided to create several pockets of interest as a device to encourage people to move about the party. So we have paired down the shape to be orthogonal and now I’m focusing on the idea of prisms which is still relatable to a summer solstice theme.  It’s a bit of a stretch but it sounds fancy to say prisms over a cloud.

At the community table we are creating a sectional installation made of paper which will be 30′ long taking inspiration from an idea that Tania my co-worker showed me a few weeks ago. The stairwell to the roof top patio will have macramé type triangles, influenced by string art – an idea that Cara, a student working at the office, and Courtney, our in-house chef had. We contained the idea into triangles instead of taking up a large space due to time and access to the space.  This type of installation has always appealed to me because when it takes up a large space it extends beyond a drawing (a line) and develops into a digital overlay – a coloured veil of an alternate dimension on top of the existing one.  Hopefully if we get those first two installed I can implement a canopy /covering that I am working on for the roof deck.

So far a few students from the office have begun working on the triangles for the stairwell  (mock ups shown below) and today I worked on dying fabric for the canopy. It was my first time working with dye so that was fun and it was beautiful out today so the timing was perfect. Early this week we will be setting up the paper sections over the table and the other two installations should be set up mid-week before Friday. Cross your fingers that it all works out. Below are a few images of this weeks progress.

IMG_5977 IMG_5987IMG_6002

my co-worker testing out the material

IMG_5989 IMG_5991 IMG_5993IMG_6017IMG_6018

more input from my co-worker

IMG_6010 IMG_6013IMG_6022IMG_6021