Building a Mystery…

Posted: July 8, 2011 in 2011 - July 1 thru Sept 30, Mystery Build
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Yes, the secret is out. For the next ninety-one daysI intend to focus on my artwork and strengthening my place in the creative world. The first assignment bestowed upon myself is to collaborate with a friend in a creative contest while I continue to seek other avenues by which to pay my bills. (That’s no fun either but, it also requires creativity.)  Here is the first installment of our project.

Building a Mystery...

The contest rules are: The artist(s) creates a sculpture using only the materials inside, and including, the box to interpret a song. The only material we may add is up to 6oz of any liquid so as it is not used sculpturally in any way. The deadline is July 30th, 2011.

It was the afternoon of June 14, 2011 that I picked up our Mystery Build box from the retailer. It sat on my coffee table for nearly a week as my friend Robin and I seemed too busy to connect, even for a moment, to open it. As our curiosity continued to peak, and despite several phone conversations, all I could do is hint that it did seem heavy for being such a small box.

Nearly a week later, we finally got together. Some pizza, a bottle of wine and “the box”. I don’t recall which came first but, wow, what fun we had when we finally opened our Mystery Build box! Inside were all sorts of tiny and larger materials: 2r8dnss a3%$, KJH*(, #@&(*0, h*@, p(*Y+, #(@^?, “c&s, <=@s! and, of course, the box.

During our first intitial meeting we looked, touched, talked, drank, and laughed well into the evening.

Our goal for the night was to agree on our song. CDs were strewn throughout the house as we reflected on the lyrical passions of so many artists. The excitement was dizzying as our minds went from one extreme to another. It was as if the walls were made of mirror and we were in an amazing funhouse that whole evening.

A pattern began to emerge as we honed in on our song of choice. Toward the end of the night, we finally agreed on a particular artist and song unless, of course, something else popped up. We went our separate ways to think on our own a while.

Days later, we gathered the box and all the contents to set up shop in Robin’s living room. It would be a brainstorming roundtable for a while. We had tables, writing boards, spotlights, music and snacks covering every inch, minus a path in and out of the room. We experimented with materials similar to those found in the box by working and reworking our plans until it was just right. We listened to and read the song lyrics over and over. We researched the musician to try to understand the deeper meaning and the inspiration for such a melody. Several hours later we felt comfortable with our progress and called it a night. We’d get together again a few days later. The duration of our break was short lived as the phone calls and emails started the very next morning. It was one epiphany after another: while walking the dog; while in the shower; while asleep in our beds. It just did not matter. This was on our mind and consuming our thoughts so much, in fact, we began to laugh as every idea marked a new beginning. Details about the structure of the finished piece had flipped and flopped and tumbled and turned many times but, in the end, it was strengthened by the shear scrutiny of our brainstorming sessions. The prior planning had paid off and it was time to dig in.

Since the deadline was the last day of the month, we thought we’d start building our sculpture on the first. Weekly activities and duties took priority and we delayed production for one day. I left the office at the end of the week feeling pretty great and ready to begin on that Saturday. We would get together early the next  afternoon and focus on this project all weekend. So I got busy and packed up some munchies, food and drink plus an overnight bag. I hope Robin and I were on the same page about this. I was moving in for the weekend!

Later that evening, I got around to checking my emails. There it was – an email from the North Carolina Museum of Art!

We shared the news and both of us went to bed that evening with an excitement in our hearts and a smile on our face.

~ stay tuned to learn what happens next…

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Comments
  1. […] happen and that may have been easier had we been able to add a motor. Given the materials available, we were able to work together toward the best solution after several tweeks and turns from the original idea.” Laurie says that collaborating on the piece added to the fun and “intrigue” of the process.  To find out more about that process, read Lauri’s blog. […]

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