Chain 07

Sweetened Water Farm
Medium: Photograph

I took this picture in the late 70’s. It’s of one of my best friends from that time “Helen” and her dogs walking back to her barn. There is something evocative and emotional and melancholy about the photo for me, which is strange cause what could be more joyous than taking a walk in the snow with your friend and her dogs? But I think it’s that they’re walking away from me that makes it sad. Regardless, there is still a strong sense of connection and home in the photo. I love taking pictures in the snow it covers up the rutted roads and it edits the landscape so that it looks like a pen and ink sketch and allows only the bones to show through.

This is a photograph of one of my best friends from that time “Hellen” and her dogs. There is something evocative and emotional that they’re walking away from me. I love taking pictures in the snow. I’ve been photographing Martha’s Vineyard’s landscape for the past 35 years and the it is the same day after day so the snowfalls (which happen rarely) transform and simplify the island. It covers up the rutted roads and it edits the landscape so that it looks like a pen and ink sketch and allows only the bones to show through. The message of the photo is that I have a pretty deep emotional connection to and they’re walking away from me. You’d think this was a happy feeling of my friend walking in the snow with her dogs but in fact I’d say this is a melancholy picture. But still there is a sense of connection and home that comes up for me because of my connection to Martha’s Vineyard as my home. Why this angle? The image has leading lines into the center of interest. The barn and the two dogs and the person are converging. Hellen and her partner and my partner and I were inseparable for a year and now we’re old friends who no longer really connect. Every weekend we’d spend together. I was in my late 20s and working 80 hrs a week for the V gazette and then on weekends I would always get out and go for a long walk on the beach and they were my opportunity to explore the Island.

Alison Shaw

Alison Shaw has been a photographer all of her life. After graduating from Smith College in 1975, Alison worked with the Vineyard Gazette as Design Director until 2000. Since then, she has put all of her energy into Alison Shaw Photography, which is now a multi-layered enterprise. Her work has evolved from documentary to abstract, always using her camera to literally paint with light.

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How Long
By Isaac Taylor
How Long
Medium: Song

There was a feeling of ‘Lonely Beauty’ that struck me in the photo. I could see that everyone might not see it as a lonely scene; just some good companions out for a little exercise, but to me it was about longing and love. I looked at the photo a whole bunch of times on my I-phone and then picked up my shruti box and hit record.

How Long
Medium: Painting

My first impression of this song was “ I know this song, I know this man and I know what he is feeling very well.” He is lonely and waiting for his lover. The feeling that arose in me was one of knowing there is someone in this world for you but you have to wait for her. Wait all the days and all the nights no matter how long it takes. The image that came first, was of a man, me, standing in front of a window in an apartment I used live in, in Holland. I’d met a woman once while traveling in Canada. I fell in love with her though I knew her only a week. When I went back to Holland I couldn’t stop thinking about her. She was the one! I found myself staring out of my window thinking of her as the days and nights passed by. We had no contact for 15 years and then one day, out of the blue, she called me and came over to visit me and on the second day she was there I asked her to marry me and she said yes. So, we knew each other for a week and two days and in between 15 years with nothing and I am the love of her life and she is mine our story gives me the understanding of this song so well. I listened once or two times to the song and then I stopped listening and started painting because I knew what I wanted to create: An older man looking at the horizon, Looking into a slice of night, looking into the day, seeing the stormy clouds going by lonely but trusting that his loved one would return. I wanted to express some loneliness in the painting but not a bad or scary or frightening loneliness. His back is to the observer because you don’t need to know him other than that he’s an older man, but you can tell by his posture and that he has spent quite a long part of his life waiting. You can look over his shoulder to see what he’s seeing; you’re not distracted by his face. When I did the painting I did it really fast with an empty head and a heart full of the emotion.

Henk Gringhuis
  • Born in the Netherlands, Hendrik “Henk” Gringhuis moved in 2001 with his wife to New Brunswick in East Canada. From there, he continues to create contemporary skies and landscapes based on the evocative Dutch countryside and fanciful Canadian landscape. Inspired by always-moving clouds, landscapes with unreachable horizons, and the loneliness of a single barn or farmhouse, Henk paints impressions of skies above non-existing fields. In early 2010, the New Brunswick Art Bank purchased one of Henk’s paintings. Henk’s work can be found in private collections nationally across Canada and internationally: Sweden, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Great Britain and the USA.

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Medium: Dance

The music reminded me of a father telling his son honestly about his life. About a love he’d had and lost and warning his son not to run away from love. The lyrics felt sad and nostalgic but the tone of the singer’s voice and the vibration of the music left me feeling nurtured, comforted and completely reassured. My dance came from those feelings of comfort and reassurance. I imagined a sailor on the opened sea. I felt the nostalgia and sadness he might endure for a love that is far away and awaiting his return. I imagined the vulnerability he must feel under the vastness of the sky and over the whale-like motions of the sea. But within that vast opened exposure I imagined his complete calmness. I looped the music and just went with it. People started gathering around me. They stood on the balconies and on the outskirts in that giant space but I didn’t even notice them because I was completely filled with the music.

Alexandre Lane

Alexandre Lane began his training at the National Circus School of Montréal. Since discovering the Cyr wheel, Lane hasn’t stopped pushing the limits of its potential. The expertise and innovative style he developed allowed him to work with Cirque du Soleil, researching and developing new circus apparatuses. Lane’s achievements include a record breaking gold and bronze medal win at the International Circus Festival of Budapest in 2012, as well as the Palazzo Special Prize for “The most artistic in performance and style.”

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Medium: Sculpture

Within minutes of seeing the dance I had a strange identification with the concrete floor on which the human gyroscope traveled. I imagined the pathways which might be made in a softer floor. I felt extreme contrast between the meandering path of the human hoola-hoop through the severe rigidity of the industrial site. I could smell the musty concrete with the counterpoint of the sweat of the gyroscope man. The piece I produced is a direct response to thinking about the tracks which the human propelled hoop device made on the floor it rolled on. My response is an earthcasting where I rolled a round device onto prepared North Carolina mud. The piece is sort of like being the floor in the industrial space having received the track of the acrobatic wheel in the video. I then let the mud dry creating the serendipitous forms of cracks as the moisture leaves the mud. The piece is about the artifice of “human-made”, of art, versus the organic occurrences of “nature-made”.

Thomas Sayre

Thomas Sayre has designed and built public art projects all over the world and has been part of the design team for civic, educational, and museum buildings. Growing up in the shadow of Washington National Cathedral, Thomas’ early art education, and his love and respect of natural materials, came from the stonecutters and the Cathedral. His education continued at the University of North Carolina, University of Michigan, and Cranbrook Academy of Art. Aside from producing studio pieces, Thomas creates for the public arena. It is here where the idea of producing art intersects with the realities of life.

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Medium: Spacial Design

I thought about how to present pieces that all seemed to me to be revealing both the vulnerability of being alone and the inherent strength in that very same thing. I ultimately utilized heavy vertical beams that sit in steel brackets to hang each piece from.

The other strong element is the steel strapping that literally ties all the verticals together into the arc. All the materials will degrade, age and richen in color over time.

Cristina Todesco

Based in Boston, Cristina Todesco is a scenic designer who works both in theater and film. Theaters include, Huntington Theater Company, Commonwealth Shakespeare Company, Williamstown Theater Festival, Summer Play Festival, the Culture Project, Olney Theater Center Maryland. She is the recipient of four Elliot Norton Awards for Outstanding Design: The Clean House (New Repertory Theatre), Twelfth Night (Actor’s Shakespeare Project), The Aliens and The Flick (Company One). She earned a BFA in painting from BU’s School of Visual Arts, and an MFA in scenic design from BU’s School of Theatre Arts, where she currently teaches.

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