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Archive for April 18th, 2011

Transcendence: Mooring the Storm at Frog Hollow in Burlington, VT

An Installation process taking place during the month of April, 2011 by Carol MacDonald and Erik Rehman

*** if you haven’t read the beginning of this go to April posts and see if from the beginning.

Day 3 – Thursday April 14th

The brown ball of yarn rolled over and touched the figure today. having made contact, we changed the simple mousey brown yarn to this beautiful multi strand hand dyed wool with a variety of earthy colors. It has a bit of a curl and a liveliness that the other didn’t have.  We took down the brown yarn tree outline and re-established the line with this new yarn. It corresponds with springtime; the trees starting to bud out and shift colors. We have come to think about the yarn as an umbilical cord to the cut out (door) figure.

I had not done any sanding or scraping into the figure. I had done that to the door.  I decided that the figure needed to be worked on. I scraped and sanded into it’s heart space, uncovering the many layers of paint. I took a hammer and pounded on it at which point the joints of the wood panels let go. I worked on both sides of it. There is more scarring on the side that you see inside the gallery. I thought about how we often feel on the inside versis what we present to the public. Survivors are usually masters at masking how we really feel and putting on a strong front in public. I know that for myself, I spent years overcompensating and overdoing.  So although there is some scarring on what you see from outside of the window, the inside view is more severe.

When I was done I managed to reglue the pieces of the door back together. Humor has become an integral part of this process.  One thing that I have come to love about being a survivor of trauma is that it seems to instill a quirky sense of humor and appreciation of the sublime.  Erik is a great partner in this.   When I had the figure reglued we needed some weight to hold it all together. Erik grabbed a pedestal and plopped it down and there we were with the feet sticking out like the wicked witch of the west.  “There’s No Place Like Home…..” I took off my red clogs and put them on the figures’ feet and we cracked up. By Friday morning the figure was back on it’s feet.  Metaphors just keep showing up!

Erik hung his drawing of a tree in a boat made of saws…..

“the tree rooted into a boat constructed of saws:

their reductive function transformed into a vehicle of transportation.”


I put the bottom layer of dragonflies, which are white printed on black paper. it gives depth to the piece. I am still waiting for the other final layers that I printed to dry.

Also a vellum piece by a survivor went up over the Inanna sculpture. It looks like two pages in a book. One crumpled and one smooth.

Day 6: Saturday, April 16th


I was able to pick up the final “Vive” piece today from the sandblasters. Jack Lazarowski down at Conant Metal and Light did a great job and Steve Conant generously donated the job. It is 22″ x30″ and we were able suspend it in the window using fishing line. It activates that side of the space and creates a bit of privacy.

We started to wrap the door with yarn. We started off with the brown yarn that had been the initial tree line and then switched to blue and then brown.  I tore some strips of gauze and wrapped that around the heart space and feet. A piece of “Police Do Not cross” tape went around it’s lower midsection.  That was hard and we decided to leave the figure in that vulnerable, wounded space but such is the reality of this process. We will continue the wrapping on Thursday.

Erik hung the puzzle man drawing……

“The man reclaiming lost pieces of himself: reforming, regaining, buoyancy.

Driving home, I wished we had been working with a video person and could have gotten this installation process on film. Especially the transformation of the door and the process that the figure is playing out.

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