This week, after more questions to The Journey team about the orientation of the structure on the site, the final design of The Sacred Journey crystalized in my mind. I have to admit, it always gets me a bit worried, because for a long time it feels like it’s never going to happen. This is a process I am familiar with now, and I’ve learned to trust it. It takes a certain amount of time, information gathering and rest, and waiting, until boom, the inspiration hits and everything that has been calculating in my mind suddenly snaps into focus.
There has been a lot to consider, and different ideas have come and gone, including whether to open up the opportunity to other artists (Radical Inclusion), or to allow my art flow with The Journey, as it was invited and intended. I finally chose the latter and have let my own art and influences shape the space.
Introducing the Design
Access to the temple is via a “tunnel” which will spiral into the centre of the temple. This tunnel will be laid out in six different sections, each with a gateway to the next section, consisting of cloth banners that fall onto the path way.
Cutting of Cloth
This weekend saw the first cutting of cloth for the installation, a banner I have been thinking through for a long time – The Chakra Gateway. This depicts the (Westernised version of the) 7 chakra system, with a doilie to represent the swirling energy of each charka vortex. As with most of the work, the fabric sourced for this piece have been found in opshops (thrift stores). This takes a while to find everything I need, but I like the challenge of working with what is available. Through reusing old items, it is a small contribution towards sustainability and I try to avoid buying new fabric when I can.
I often find myself having to teach myself new skills when making things, and this weekend it was all about how to make 6, 12 and 10, petalled flowers out of paper. It’s not as easy as you think! But I enjoy the process of trial and error and making things with my hands. The table became littered with petals of all numbers, and the first of the chakras for the banner completed.
Work Plan Set
Now that the design has been finalised, it is possible to map out all the things that need to be done in the next 9 weeks. Breaking down the tasks make it less overwhelming… especially when there is our Australian regional, Burning Seed and a trip to New Zealand in between now and YOUtopia. (FYI, from now on you will constantly see me carrying around hand-sewing to be done on the run. Every moment counts!)
If this design inspires you and you want to get behind and help out, there are things you can do which require no sewing experience. I need the overlocker humming to make all the strips of fabric that will be woven into The Journey Structure. Get in contact and help me out! Or if you live in Whangarei, come to my finger knitting workshop, where we will create the roof of the temple together during the September school holidays.
2017 has seen an exciting evolution in my art exploration. After being unable to set up Sacred Seed at Kiwiburn 2017 (due to the forest being deemed unsafe due tree limbs falling at random), I started to think about designing an external structure, so that I was no longer dependent on a forest to hang my work. At the Global Leadership Summit of Burning Man, I met Lee Hemingway, one of the leads of The Journey, an art installation heading to Burning Man. Boom. Collaboration.
After a very animated discussion about the Torus - of which both art projects are influenced by - we exchanged contact details, and forwarded our art to each other. 6 weeks later, Lee got back in touch with me, and invited me to collaborate on their project, happening after Burning Man.
The Journey's crew home Burn is YOUtopia, and they decided to apply for 'Temple', and asked me if I would consider using my art work to shroud an decorate The Journey structure. The Temple is a sacred art installation at Burn events, and have become a tradition around the world. They are designed to be a contemplative space, which can be written on, and at the end of the event the piece is usually burned, acting out a ritual of letting go through and being at peace. However, at the YOUtopia event, the Temple does not burn, due to fire restrictions on the land they use.
The Temple Journey proposes to use the existing structure of The Journey as the bones of the Temple. I will “dress” the structure with fabric art installations to transform it into a Temple. The art work will reflect my own art style (lace, quilting, doilies and hand painted banners). The Journey structure will be aligned in such a way so that it is a spiral, and the tunnel will be covered to create a journeying process for those making their way into the Temple.
This project has now won Temple status and grant money been allocated, which means that I will be heading to San Diego in October to install the work. Watch this blog for updates and more detail.