Description: It was very early spring 1988. The leaves were just coming out and it was misting lightly. The whole setting was very ethereal because this whole tree was covered in a sort of sheen. I’ve always been attracted to trees. I am amazed that no matter what they’re forced to face or go through, they just keep on growing. This one in particular was spectacular in that it had lost a huge section of itself. A big portion of it had just come off in a storm but it just kept on growing despite it. I am struck that even though this tree is ancient and dying (which can take a long time for a tree to do) it is always creating new life even as it dies.
Janet Woodcock began pursuing her passion professionally in 1980, studying at both the Art Institute of Boston and the New England School of Photography. She mastered her craft while working for several newspapers doing free-lance assignments. In the mid nineties, she decided to devote all of her energy into her own projects. Janet’s commitment to “the traditional craft of photography” is evident in her past and recent work alike.
I listened to the story of this tree like a vibrational stenographer, recording the sound of its roots descending down and its branches reaching up. A huge portion of it is underground. I imagine this tree’s roots look just like it does up top: a huge thick tangle of subterranean wood and then, where ever the roots end, I imagine that energetically they keep expanding deeper into the earth. I imagine it’s the same for the branches, that they extend into the universe way beyond their physical expression. Maybe the roots meet up with the branches somewhere down the line as their invisible limbs wrap out into the space.
My job was taking this collection of shapes and putting them into a tapestry of sound. There’s a bit in the song where all of the sudden it breaks into a completely different rhythm. It gets heavily swung and breaks into a whole different pattern. That was my attempt to express where the tree leaves the boundaries of its physical self and the drum rolls come in and that’s where you get outside the boundaries of the tree. That’s where the tree enters its energetic life and exits into the space around it.
Ben Taylor, born in 1977, is a musician and actor. The Ben Taylor Band released their debut album, “Famous Among the Barns,” in 2003. Subsequently, Ben released a solo album “Another Run Around the Sun.” This album, more acoustic in nature, was in line with Ben’s family roots, and featured his sister Sally Taylor as well as Kevin Bacon. In the last decade, Ben has released several EPs and albums including: “The Legend of Kung Folk” (Sun Pedal Recordings, 2012), the first of which to be released on a Label.
The music brought out aquatic landscapes and outer space images, the feeling of weightlessly floating in space or insome underwater canyon exploring uncharted territory. The low-end vibrations felt as if they were massaging my brain through my headphones. They birthed a story about a self-transforming machine elf playing the didgeridoo inside the brain of a time traveling shaman. The pineal gland is a gland that is located at the center of the brain but still separate from the brain. It is, by many, considered the God Organ and the connection our bodies have to the divine, the seat of the soul. It is also believed to be an intricate part of the mystical experience, so after my headphone / brain massage and after I found the image of the shaman, the title of the piece was coined. Pineal Masseur.
Born in Stockholm, Sweden in 1970, Sebastian has lived in New York since going to Parsons School of Design in 1993. For collage, he uses hand made papers that he’s collected for the past two decades. Wahl mimics the beautiful diversity of Manhattan in ways that make for surreal scenes. Mused by sacred geometry and shamanic visions he attempts to also channel these inspirations into his work in the form of psychedelic landscapes, mandalic and spiritual mayhem. The works have a story to tell and always reveal something new, much like a book that is read for a second time.
My first reaction to the music was Panic! Fear and worry! My first thought was that I would not be physically capable (being 8 months pregnant) of honoring the kinetic reaction I was having to it. The music felt very foreign to me: soulful but electronic, distressed but humorous…the word I would use is “alien.” Being as pregnant as I am, any dance I do now is more of a duet than a solo, so it occurred to me that maybe this music was the voice of the little stranger growing inside of me – someone who, despite coming from my body, is still his own entity completely independent from me and ultimately beyond my control. The opening sequence of the dance came to me first – a stirring that begins as a seed, grows, and takes over. My opening movements were carefully formed, but as the dance continued I began to give in to a sense of play, silliness, and lack of control and ultimately finding a real sense of pleasure, wonder, and sensuality in the act of letting go of my body and my head, and my need to control the outcome. I loved this project! I loved the emotional journey – from excitement to panic/fear/worry to surrender to fun and play. And transcendence.
Annmaria Mazzini, Artistic Director of the Mazzini Dance Collective and Resident Choreographer of the American Modern Ensemble, has been active in the New York dance community for over twenty years. Annmaria earned a BFA in Dance at Southern Methodist University, before working as a principal dancer with the Paul Taylor Dance Company from 1999-2011. Along with teaching at the Taylor School, Annmaria spends her time collaborating with a number of acclaimed dance companies and photographers.
When I first got the Collage a million questions ran through my mind. Who is the artist? What were they thinking whenthey created this? What if I don’t capture the meaning? What does this artwork smell like? – Is it earthy or is it galactic? Should it be complex or simple? Should I enhance one part of the image or the whole thing? When I just sat with the artwork and put all these questions outside of me, I began to have a series of visions, inspirations and emotions. I found myself going into the artwork and then going within myself. I could see duality of the tiny microcosm juxtaposed with the macrocosm of the Universe at large. I could see then, that this image and my part in it was just a sliver.
I hope my fragrance gives the viewer space to sink into the artwork with deeper resonance. I created it based on the energy of the artwork and the experience of going up and down a helix – much like the chakra system. When I completed the fragrance, I found that it enhanced my experience with the artwork on a deep cosmic but primal level – I felt the essence of humanity and the omnipotence of Spirit. I focused on the bottom of the artwork first – the base notes. Then I moved up the scale and worked on the middle notes (the horizon in the artwork), then the top notes (the galaxy in the artwork). It seemed to also mesh with the chakras – going from the base of the spine, up the center of the body and then out the top of the head. It was a meditative experience for me.
I thought the horizon between the bottom of the artwork and the top of the artwork was the most poignant – hence the name Gateway. Creating this Gateway fragrance was a spiritual transformation. I hope the person who experiences the fragrance in tandem with the artwork will have their own awakening. Even if they recognize their aversion – that’ssomething too. So often, we try to hide our distaste but often times, the thing we resist is the thing that has the most healing power. The fragrance is very much about loosing oneself to find oneself.
The Chinese character for Yosh means “fragrant.” Yosh Han began her perfuming career in 1994, when she walked into a boutique in Aspen, CO with hundreds of bottles on the wall and knew she was onto something. Over her two-year apprenticeship as a perfumer, Yosh learned to identify and combine the healing essential oils and sensuous perfume essences in each of those bottles. Today Yosh uses these elixirs in her own modern practice of ancient art of perfumery, creating signature scents that entice the senses, fascinate the mind, and enchant the soul.
What struck me the most was the energy that she both struggled against and contained in her dance. She was exuberant, a life force… but also seemed trapped. I loved the architecture of space in her pregnant form and I tapped into the metaphor that her pregnant body represented the larger body of Mother Earth that we all share and depend on for life. We humans mine into our earth and exploit it to gain our own energy & life force… minerals, metals, oil, gas, water. Many of the dancers arm movements seem to mime vertical digging movements (mining, hydro-fracking, drilling), and her kicking and arm gestures implied a column of dimensional space above her, to the sides and bellow her, as if her symbolic life force was walled in, but barely suppressed.
In interpreting the dance as a sculpture, I used many torn, dirty layers of square man-made materials that are made from oil: foam, rubber, tar, acrylic, to form a dark column of external support. I contrasted this with a lush, circular tunnel-like interior of real green moss, that surrounds a dynamic and reflective seed of light at its core. Upon further discovery, the sculptures internal seed becomes kinetic – with gentle participation. The expression of this sculptural form is a micro illustration of a macro concept: within ourselves and every stratum of our Earth, there contains a dynamic life force that sustains us – if we, in turn, sustain it.
New York-based Kate Raudenbush is known for her illuminated, geometric steel sculptures that can reach highs of 42 feet. Kate mixes visual symbolism cross-culturally, utilizing welded and laser-cut metal, acrylic, mirror, sound and light to shape her designs into large-scale architectural environments. In this way, the artwork is not just an object to behold, but also an experience to be lived. Kate’s public artworks can be seen at such diverse locales as: the International Sculpture Festa in Seoul, South Korea, in a city park in San Francisco, The Nevada Museum of Art in Reno, in the desert at Burning Man, at The Electric Daisy Carnival in Las Vegas and New York, and the Art Basel/Switzerland and Miami art fairs.
At age 17, Claudia Taylor is already an accomplished poet who carved herself a niche in the Vineyard poetry community. Claudia started writing at the age of 12 and began reading her work last year, appearing as a regular at poetry nights. She is a two-time winner of the Vineyard’s Promising Young Poets award, and a finalist, in the top 1% of applicants, for the international Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award for the past two years. Claudia amazes audiences with her depth and emotion, and additionally plays guitar, clarinet, and sings.