Why make boats? Is this reminiscent of my attachment to the marine world? This idea of travel, navigation, the smell, the shape, the implications of childhood and nostalgia. There are schooners, sailboats, cruising boats, fishing boats, motor boats, row boats made of wood, fiberglass, natural fibers and more.
A boat to me is freedom. It is joy of being with the natural elements of water, wind and sun- floating or speeding away from shore and the constraints the land can put on us. Feet ungrounded, unstable and loose, liberates the mind to let go of the structured repetition of solid ground. The boats I am beginning to construct don’t even float at all – they are powered by the consciousness of site and interaction of human experience; they move slowly, intentionally through various biomes at the edge of reality and dream.
Using sites to influence my construction of boats is intuitive, yet harkens to boats all over the world that are made for specific bodies of water or purposes. The boat for the bear cages uses metal and natural materials found and collected on-site, situated in a former pool of water. This overgrown pool represents a connection to larger bodies of water and implications of caged nature. The boat becomes a means of escape as well as a vessel to travel through time among the waves of the unconscious.
I’ve become especially enamored by the cork tree at the Arnold Arboretum. This variety of tree from central Japan boasts bark that speaks to a landscape of deep trenches, mountains and snaking waterways. It deserves a chart to navigate its channels… which is exactly what I am going to create. Assembling boats with the trees’ fallen stems, their hulls will correspond with the bark to help them flow with its currents.
Thinking about the purpose of crafting boats confronts me with questions… such as how do we traverse and travel through our lives or into states that take us physically or emotionally to another time and land? How does the journey really outweigh the destination and consist of the true experience of life itself? Within the limitations of physical self, time and space how do I use site, object and imagination to engage in this enigmatic journey of our own ephemerality and invite others to join me…