Installed artworks: Day 3 – The Hop Hornbeam

The Hop Hornbeam artwork is installed

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Close up photograph of the Snake Bark artwork.

An early sampling programme from the Snake Bark uncovered some fascinating finds by Clodagh Dooley.  See below a slide show highlighting some of the wonderful images taken by Dooley.

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From the outset of the project Hassett was drawn to the meaning behind the Hop Hornbeam’s Greek name Ostrua, which translates as “bone-like”, referring to its very hard wood.

Hassett decided to respond to the lumpy shape that snaked around the trunk; a direct result of the tree’s reaction to wind factors and it’s environment. For this artwork she created a corset-like protective covering for the protruding element on the trunk’s surface. Microscopic imagery of spiky thorn-like structures that were growing on the surface of the branches also informed the final artwork.  See images below.

There were many stages in the creation of the artwork for the Hop Hornbeam. From the initial low impact mould of the protruding element to the final installation there were many stages in the creation of the artwork for the Hop Hornbeam. The mould was taken to the studio so design trials could be made. A paper pattern was then created, the fabrics cut out and sewn together in sections. Finally long lengths of heavy wire were inserted into the various sections to support the shape of the overall artwork. Blue sticky fabric was added to accentuate these shapes and be representative of the microscopic spiky elements uncovered by Clodagh Dooley during the sampling process.  The slide show below includes some images of this lengths process.  

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The Hop Hornbeam artwork was installed in late September.  Images below were taken soon after the piece was installed.  

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This second group of images was taken on a very windy but sunny day post storm Ophelia.

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Installed artworks: Day 2 – The Snake Bark Tree

The Snake Bark artwork is installed

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Close up photograph of the Snake Bark artwork.

David Hackett taking sample with saw of Snake Bark Tree

   Image David Hackett taking a sample from the Snake Bark Tree, 2016.

An early sample programe from the Snake Bark uncovered some fascinating finds by Clodagh Dooley. See below

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Hassett was drawn in particular to Dooley’s beautiful images of the fungal fruiting body (pod like structure). See image below. 

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Other images taken by Hassett with a normal camera also inspired her to create the final artwork that is currently installed in the Snake Bark Tree. See below some of the first photographs taken by Hassett, which show some of the soma/ breathing holes of the tree.

Imagery of the brightly coloured clothing combinations worn by select sub cultures in Japan during the 1990’s also played a part in the selection of the materials and colours for this piece. 

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A close up photograph of detailing the of the SThe images below were taken after the art work was installed in the Snake Bark tree. 

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The following slide show includes installation images taken on a very windy but sunny day post storm Ophelia.

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Installing in the Oregon Maple, part 2

We decided to install and leave the highest ‘tendon’ in place even though the exhibition is not due to open to the public until Friday the 29th. It would have been too difficult to get back to the same height again. I had decided on mirroring two metal wires, which ran more or less parallel to each other near the topmost branches of the tree.

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See image of the end points of the chosen pair of cables where they are fixed to the tree.

David positioned us and we began cutting, stretching and cable tying the beginning of the length of fabric between the two wires. We continued cable tying the fabric along the length of the wires until the distance between them became impossible to cover. At this point I needed to ‘carve’ the tendon shape into the fabric attaching it’s end points securely to the wires.

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Slide show of different of the piece in situ from various positions as we descended from the heights of the top branches of the Oregon Maple to the ground level.

Having finished finessing this tendon we dropped down to the lower levels of the branches to measure up for the final two tendons. Both of these tendons will run more or less parallel to each other with variations on their angles and will be nearly perpendicular to the highest tendon. David and I again moved into position and began to temporarily tie the other two tendons nearer the base of the trunk and cut the fabric length to size. These sections were taken away to allow the artist to further cut into the fabric, shape it, sew the edges and afix the eyelets.

Images of the final two ‘tendons’ and the complete installation in the Oregon Maple will be available to view after the exhibition opens to the public.

Installing in the Oregon Maple, part 1

The next stage in the artwork process was to decide where in the tree to install and how long each section of fabric needed to be. David Hackett kindly booked and organised getting the large and cumbersome scissors lift to the Oregon Maple on the morning of the 14th of September.

It would have been great if it were possible to continue using the scissors lift that day and finally install all the ‘tendons’ but unfortunately I had so much cutting of fabric to get the desired shape, sewing of the edges and inserting the eyelet fixing points that David will have to roll out all the equipment again for the final stage.

So on a windy sunny morning and on the same day that American Vice President Mike Pence visited Trinity College Dublin David Hackett and his team maneuvered the large scissors lift into position. Ironically we were up in the scissors lift when the Vice President visited the main square nearby.

See images from top of the tree looking down on the main square.

Before we could begin large boards had to be laid down on the grass to protect it from being damaged by the wheels of the lift.

See images of scissors lift preparation

As soon as all the preparation was completed David promptly buckled me into a harness system and up we went! I am not afraid of heights but it was still a nerve wrecking experience all the same. It takes a lot of skill and experience to get the cherry picker to the highest parts of the huge Oregon Maple, thankfully David is a great driver!

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See images of the tree as I was looking down at it from the topmost branches.  

For what happened next see the blog entitled Installing in the Oregon Maple, part 2. 

Artworks ready to go…Cherry Blossom

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The Cherry Blossom artwork ready for some final finessing before transporting to Trinity College Dublin. A hole must be cut and securely sewn to allow the artwork to fit snugly around the Cherry Blossom Tree. This can not be done until the installation stage where the artist will be working with the actual tree rather than measurements. This artwork will be installed in the Cherry Blossom tree located on the Physic Lawn.

To follow some initial images of the artwork, which is currently installed in my studio.

Materials: Neon pink and green lycra netting, plastic netting and wire.

Many thanks to ReCreate for the recycled plastic netting. I will post again telling you more about ReCreate, a fantastic warehouse run by really friendly staff filled to the brim with large quantities of inspiring materials.

Artworks ready to go….Hop hornbeam

The Hop Hornbeam Tree artwork ready to be installed. It will be viewable to the public from Friday the 29th of September 2017.

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Materials – Fluorescent orange light neoprene fabric, wire, electric blue sticky fabric, fastenings and elastic.

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The finished artwork will be stretched like a corset covering the lumpy protuberance on the lower trunk of the hop hornbeam tree opposite the Berkeley Library.