I have talked on and off about installation art and mentioned a few pieces I have done in this medium. One of my favorite installations I have made is Any Back Yard. This installation was on view at the University of the Arts Window on Broad for the month of April, 2006. The “window” is a deep space (think department store type window space) that faces a busy street. The installation is about attracting birds to an urban yard.
Personal symbols in artwork is another topic I touched on and laundry is another such symbol for me. Laundry hanging out to dry is an everyday site in a city so it is no wonder such imagery was stuck in my mind.
My idea was to create a backyard in the window space. I strung a clothesline across the window but instead of hanging clothes on the line, I hung drawings of birds I had done. A laundry basket spilling over with more drawings, sort of waiting to be hung like wet laundry, sat on the floor of the display. I painted the walls and floors light green and wrote names of native plants that attract birds on the walls and floor. The writing can be seen somewhat in the detail photo of the laundry basket below.
One of the most fun aspects of this installation was creating a postcard that would not only advertise the installation but serve as an educational piece once the artwork was taken down. So I enlisted my then college age daughter to pose and to dress like I would (which she described as “like a dork”). She finally agreed to pose if I paid her twenty bucks. The resulting photograph became the front of my educational piece/postcard and the back announced the dates the installation would be on view as well as a listing of native plants to attract birds.