Katha and I are about at the halfway point in the allotted time we have to make this installation. Speaking for myself, I’ve just completed the murals that will hang on the walls on one side of the gallery, about 40’W x 8’H worth of paper. And Katha has completed one of the 6 “spirit” figures that will fill the space. That first one served as the learning curve and has informed her as to how to proceed in constructing the armatures and bases for the other five of these 9’ tall pieces of sculpture. All of which is to say we’re moving along and making progress.
The picture I’ve posted here shows Katha’s sculpture photo-shopped on top of a sketch of my design for the other side of the gallery. This mural will be approx. 11’H x 30’W, and will hang on a wall that’s over 20’ tall. I haven’t begun the actual large-scale version yet, but I feel as if the sketch is pretty much resolved. I want it to feel as if a cataclysmic event of nature (the eruption of Vesuvius) is about to take place; things are disturbed, ruffled, and roused. The black line, pitched like a roof, serves as the schema for the eponymous house. Black and white floor tiles are reminiscent of the real Villa of the Mysteries; plummeting blackbirds, wavy lines in the sky, and the simultaneous appearance of sun and moon suggest an imbalance, things gone awry. The overlapping patterns- diamonds, checks, stripes – are meant to suggest the porosity of walls, the way the Romans painted false doors in their houses to allow their ancestors and the spirits to freely come and go. Katha’s majestic “spirit” appears in the midst of all of this but could just as easily dissolve into it.