A Relationship with Flight

November 6, 2020 - May 9, 2021

Glassine Paper

235" x 341" x 120"

Site:  Blue Star Contemporary

Flower Kite

Ivory Roses and Basswood

24" x 24" x 24"

Ash Balloon

Incense Ash, Helium, and Latex

34" x 34" x 34"

Wax Parachute

Pillar Wax, Wick, and Steel

36" x 14" x 14"

Artist Statement

During my residency in Berlin, I traveled to Munich to visit the aviation wing at the History of Science Museum.  I researched early aviation methods and the experimental objects of one's relationship with flight -the balloon, the parachute, and the kite.  “As far back as 300 BC, the Greek scholar Archimedes discovered that the lifting force of a body was equal to the gravitational force of the area displaced by the body.”  In 1709, a painting depicting the presentation of the first model air-balloon to the Portuguese Friar conveys a sense of wonder and awe displayed by the religious order.  In 500 AD the first kite was flown in China and evolved into the human glider, a fighter kite in the form of a cube, and the double box kite, a predecessor to the early canvas winged planes.   During the Renaissance period, Leonardo Da Vinci sketched an early parachute design consisting of a rigid frame in the form of a pyramid with a linen chute.  In the late 1800’s the weather balloon was used to gather atmospheric data sending up a helium filled balloon and a kite to steer the parachute back to land.

My work examines the private altar, death rites, and mourning rituals centered around a study of scientific reason and the power of belief.  For this exhibition, I created an installation referencing objects from my deceased grandmother’s altar and one’s relationship to flight.  The drop ceiling is made with glassine paper and is activated by the viewer -the 4th object.  The kite is designed in the form of a cube using wood and fresh ivory roses, changing with time to symbolize the flight.  The spherical balloon is inflated with helium and covered with incense ash, weighing it down to however and transport the ash about the space.  The parachute sails are cast in pillar wax in the form of a pyramid and as the wick burns, its evidence is a measurement of time.  Like the mourning objects on my grandmother’s altar, these objects reside in a private space responding to an unseen physicality.  The temperature in the space and one’s presence affects these objects as they change with time.

Using Format