tsuki no mon ni: yurei no mori

tsuki no mon ni: yurei no mori
tsuki no mon ni: yurei no mori

Saturday, 3 July 2010

the moongate has burned!

the moongate has burned. thanks to the generous permission of friends to rebuild the moongate on their property, we were able completely to reconstruct the sculpture using all the original materials. a few new additions were made by a local family who experienced a devastating death on 30th march and were unable to participate in the first iteration of moongate; it was a great pleasure to meet them and to be able to include them at this time.

the moongate proved reluctant to burn in the end. when we at last resorted to gasoline, we were surprised to discover that even the gasoline wouldn’t burn. once the fire started, it lasted less than two hours. the remaining ash from the site wouldn’t even fill a five gallon bucket; let us hope that, as a metaphor for the reduction of grief and loss in the ash, this will be healing for people who have participated in the project.

With the help of videographer willie britton, we are working on a short documentary film about the project. key west ultra light pilot e.p.dalton took us on a flyover of the site and the sculpture wednesday afternoon before the burn. we also have some lovely images of the fire (once it got going), a soundtrack of japanese gagaku and taiko that should create a properly solemn and mystical atmosphere, and a few interviews to round out the substance of the film. details will be announced here and on our twitter account; for twitter follow “jonathanschork”.

the images below were taken by willie britton and me before and during the burn. we hope you will enjoy them. thank you for all your continued interest and support.

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

the latest news on the moongate...

The 2010 sculpturekeywest season is over, and I thank everyone who has made the progress of the moongate so successful. Like the shrine I intended it to be, moongate is covered with thousands of messages, all of them redolent with love.

Big thanks go out again to david foster, jane blatherwick, and the entire staff at ft. zachary taylor state park. They have been enormously encouraging from the beginning of this project, and remain so. Big thanks also to paige pedri, bill wood, and mark kellner for their assistance during deinstallation; I am unaccustomed to help, and am very grateful. Finally, a big thanks to vera vasek, who worked heroically to bring us a burn event. Alas, we were unable to burn the moongate at the park: because of insurance concerns, an executive decision was made by the board of directors of sculpturekeywest to cancel the event. However, it is my intention to try for another burn event next year with a different piece, for which the Anne McKee Artists Fund is providing some support, so stay tuned.

While I’m sure the failure to burn might be a disappointment to some, I must admit I have found a silver lining here. Firstly, my parents, who would have missed the burn, arrived in time to visit the moongate in person, and I feel very lucky to have been able to share that with them. Secondly, the moongate has been carefully dismantled and removed en masse to the studio at big torch key, where it is being prepared for a brief reincarnation before a private burn event, which I will videotape and prepare as a short film. I will keep everyone informed of the progress of the film and where to view it. All of the messages, as well as both notebooks, will be committed to the fire at an undisclosed location sometime in mid- to late-may.

Friday, 29 January 2010

moonlight sonata for moongate

there was a concert (los van van) at the park last night, so i was able not only to see the sculpture illuminated with the solar LED spots i'd installed, but also with the nearly-full moon. the response from my audience continues to be enthusiastic, and the sculpture is accumulating quite a narrative of love and loss. i was especially intrigued by a message left by 11 year old brendan shields: if anyone knows brendan, i would love to meet him.

the maquette for this piece is complete, and will be for sale at a special sculpturekeywest fundraiser held on 10th march, at a venue to be determined... so stay tuned.

there is no schedule for the burn, yet, but the park management continue to be very supportive of this event. the determining factors will be meteorolgical: too much wind and/or not enough rain may subvert the burn plan.

Sunday, 17 January 2010

part 1 is complete...

Sunday, 17th January: the installation started Friday, 8th January, with the raising of 2 12’ steel poles and the completion of the lumber frame on the ground. On Saturday we delivered the truck and the bulk of the limb- and branch-material in a cold rain & 30mph winds in a temperature of about 50F. Sunday i delivered the second load of material and lashed the 18’ lumber frame to three 19’ aluminum ladders which were expected to stabilize the ring while it was being raised into place between the steel stand-pipes. Raising of the limber frame was not possible Sunday as the wind had accelerated to 35mph; temperature remained about 50F. Monday morning the temperature fell to 41F, but the wind had fallen and I successfully raised the lumber frame. Before the end of that day I had secured the frame to the stand-pipes and applied most of the first load of material to the frame, starting at the top of the arc. Tuesday I used up the remainder of the material I had previously delivered. Wednesday I built and installed the lectern & legend and loaded the last of my material at the studio. Thursday I used up that last load of material, installed the solar LED spot lamps, and left messages for my lost loved ones-- mary, grandfather fred schork, grandfather harry newell, ron herron (former exec. director of AIDS Help), and ex-girlfriend olga solomatina. In the late afternoon I made some of the attached photos, and consider this phase of the installation to be essentially complete.

a visit from mike hetnz, the photo manager for the key west citizen, resulted in a beautiful photo of the moongate on the front page of the Saturday edition. Also featured in the photo was key west resident robin robinson, who was leaving a message for her late husband steve Breslau, who died last march. My time spent with robin at the sculpture was very intimate and emotional, and I think that even if I have no other experiences there for the next three months, robin gave me a big gift there: I got my pay check in the form of a close human connection, a shared experience, and the perfect expression of what this moongate is all about: forest of ghosts (or forest of souls, if you prefer) has become what I most desired: a monument to love and loss.
Stay tuned for further developments.

Sunday, 27 December 2009

the anne mckee artist's fund auction...

... will be held at the east martello tower (near the airport) in key west, on the 23rd january. admission is $25.00 and includes hors d'oeuvres, champagne, open bar. preview is from 7pm; the auction will start at 8pm. to see more information about the auction and the fund, go to http://www.annemckeeartistsfund.org/.

Thursday, 17 December 2009

idai na sagi...

this is not exactly sculpture (forgive me), but it seems appropriate to include it here (i hope you'll agree). this is a giclee-on-canvas of a photo i took on 35mm 12 years ago at dusk with a hand-held 4 second shutter speed. i have supplemented the giclee with paint, ink, and metal-leaf(gold, brass, & copper). the original verse is written in japanese in hirigana (if you go to the video link you can hear it narrated in japanese).
this piece is for sale through the anne mckee artfund auction-- held in key west sometime in january or february (please feel free to contact me for auction details). the auction helps fund grants to local artists in a variety of media looking for support for specific projects.

Monday, 14 December 2009

tsuki no mon ni update

construction of the maquette is half done (see the photo). the miniature is made from weathered buttonwwood twigs in a plaster base. size is approximately 24" at the apex, with a 12"x 42" base. this is not correctly a "maquette" in the conventional sense of the word: the lectern, solar panel, and steel armature are not represented. what i wanted to accomplish instead was to capture the feeling of the piece-- the sense that it had grown there organically. the material is also not as dense as i intend for the full-size installation, but once more i was looking to capture a feeling.
contact with park management and sculpturekeywest goes well. i have submitted technical data about dimensions and materials so that the park management can properly plan the burn. it seems worth noting that park management have been wonderfully supportive of this entire project.