Installation day— Scott bolts together a the final owl as the amazing crew from Airport View Signs gets ready to hoist up the second owl.
So maybe I bit off more than can comfortably be chewed. (Four giant owls, three of them with 16-foot wingspans?) The trick to finishing to my installation for the FAC’s Barn Art Initiative turned out to be concentrating on the details.
In my more sensibly sized collage work, the fun comes from bursts of text and bits of flotsam and jetsam that find their way in, sometimes setting the patterns, sometimes getting lost in them. I needed words to appear on the owls, but big enough to be seen on a Frederick County bank barn. Thanks to Bartlett’s Quotations (there are many entries for ’owl’ and ’night'), I found poetry to unfurl across the wings, and Shakespeare leant me a name for the installation: “The Owl, Night’s Herald.”
Next came the birds’ facial discs— the concave feathers that make a heart-shaped ring around a barn owl’s face. I emptied out drawers for shells and acorns, raided our bottle cap collection, and used up handfuls of stray buttons and foreign coins.
The final result is just a little bit weird— but that’s a good thing for owls and other Weird Sisters, is it not?
“Night’s Herald” will be installed at 1304 Arnoldstown Road, northeast of Burkittsville, on June 23. May the owls rise up and settle on the barn’s siding without losing an acorn or plastic knife! More at https://frederickartscouncil.org/programs/public-art.
Bottle caps, odd buttons and more on the face of Owl No. 1. (And yes, below that— plastic knives.)
I’ll admit it— it’s a kick to work big.
Part of the fun is the challenge. My studio is tiny; my storage space
is limited; but I still can’t stop wondering just how large I can work.
Then along came the Barn Project. Eight finalists have been invited by the Frederick Arts Council to propose a piece for one of
several barns across the county.
A Frederick County bank barn is a HUGE canvas, and I’m tasked with making something that will be visible from the road, some distance away. The call for art suggested constructions using natural and found materials, so I am thinking of the collaged bird cut-outs I’ve done, only an order of magnitude bigger and a good deal more weather-proof.
And then there's the business of hoisting the birds up
twenty feet in the air and securing them to the beams of the barn...
Birds? Why beat around the bush.
Obviously I am talking about Barn Owls.
(The picture at left shows a detail of one them. The wing span is going to be sixteen feet from feather tip to feather tip!
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