… due to a rejection of an installation proposal. A bummer – I was really hoping I’d get the nod.
The Franklin Park Conservatory in Columbus, OH is planning an exhibit titled “Savage Gardens: The Real and Imaginary World of Carnivorous Plants”. I answered their call for proposals for both the site-specific commissioned installation and the juried exhibit piece.
I really had no idea what I would do, so started researching carnivorous plant images on the internet. Things like Venus fly traps and sundews (I think that is what they are called) showed some really nice structures that I thought I could emulate with basketry, paper and gut. But then I got stuck on the “Imaginary” in the title of the show………
Thus was born, at least on paper, the Veganivorous Random Hogfly Catcher, complete with backstory and symbiotic bug. The plant was to be of large random woven ‘bowls’ lined with handmade corn husk and abaca paper pulp and having pointed stamens ready to pierce the bodies of the hogflies (little hot air balloon critters with wings and curly tails). It all sounded good on this end, including all the details on recycled materials and renewable resources. Thirteen flowers on stalks ranging 4′-10′ high. A number of Hogflies were to be suspended from the rafters or on the ‘flowers’.
The veganivorous part comes from the fact that the plant, while in the carnivorous family, chose not to actually eat the bug, but to suck the air out of it, leaving the bug shell alone. And of course, the bug was to be made of pork sausage casing. Lots of intended plant/animal connections and puns in the whole thing.
I had carefully thought about all the steps involved, what would have to be done first, etc. and how much time it all would entail. I factored in several teaching gigs already scheduled and two planned week-long trips and figured I had just enough time to construct all the pieces of the installation, including its base, before the first of July when it was due in Columbus.
BUT, the Hogfly Catcher is extinct before it even had a chance to live. And I now have 6 weeks back in my life with which to do something else, or maybe a lot of something elses.