This series of images taken on the Island were mostly about seeking space. I have always been drawn to birds who have the freedom and the expansiveness of the sky. Seeing these birds in flight I felt my own longing for that kind of flight and freedom.
Elizabeth Cecil is a fine art and editorial photographer based on Martha’s Vineyard.
Elizabeth specializes in food, travel and agricultural photography while always pursuing personal bodies of work. She contributes to multiple publications on the island and is the founding and current Photo Editor for Edible Vineyard (2010-present).
Elizabeth fell in love with photography chasing trains with her dad in Milwaukee. She made her first pictures with a blue Fisher Price and a roll of 110 film and the excitement of making images has stayed with her ever since.
The photo evoked bleakness, but also a sense of stark beauty. The birds aren’t centered; they look like they’ve been frozen in the middle of an exodus towards the edge of the frame. I’d sum the image up in one word: leaving. I was focused on the birds, so the lines with the avian imagery like “this town would surely be deserted if not for mourning doves and crows,” were birthed from images that came to me of these old-timers perched on their barstool roosts. Humans have always envied birds for their flight, but I think it’s deeper than that. For me, flight represents a freedom from ties, the ability to escape. That’s something I think we’ve all felt the urge to do at one time or another. After I settled on the influence of the birds, I simply fleshed out a back-story populated with characters that are rooted in place which envy one that wants to take flight.
Discovered when he was 23, Mark Erelli released his debut album in 1999. For the past 10 years, he’s toured internationally, sharing the stage with Dave Alvin, Gillian Welch, John Hiatt and others, and appearing at many major folk festivals, including Newport, Philadelphia and Shrewsbury (UK). Erelli gained notoriety as a multi-instrumentalist, accompanying artists like Lori McKenna and Josh Ritter everywhere from Nashville’s Grand Ole Opry to London’s Royal Albert Hall. In 2009, he was one of eight artists invited to participate in the Darwin Song Project, a collaborative release featuring songs inspired by the life and work of Charles Darwin.
In the song there was a sense of longing, searching for purpose in a weighted sort of weightlessness way that made me want to arrive at a destination or a decision. I felt longing and discovery, weakness and strength, awareness and heartache. I wanted to convey the distinctive moody tone I felt in the song, which was dark and intimate and gave me the feeling of both being inside and outside. The idea of painting on a circle was my immediate response to the music because it felt circular to me, like you were going to arrive back at the same place where you started from. The chair in my image symbolizes home and waiting to return. I titled my work “Compass.” The stars are often used for navigation, to find your way home. The dangling piano weights represent time, like a pendulum. Vertical time instead of horizontal.
In 1997 Kara received a BFA from Maine College of Art after majoring in ceramic sculpture. After college, she lived in Maui for a year and begun to paint. Since, she’s participated in various group shows through out New England and 1 Juried International Exhibition. The years following took Kara to India, a place that has long influenced her philosophy on art and life.
In 2000, she returned to Martha’s Vineyard and opened Haystack Gallery in West Tisbury, an immediate success. After 5 years, her work moved to a bigger space, now called Kara Taylor Fine Art on Main St. in Vineyard Haven.
The essence of the song for us was a sense of impermanence and nostalgia. We chose to approach our choreography without a literal interpretation of the lyrics, so after listening to the song many times, we put it aside. We performed the dance and edited the video without the music, and then added it back in at the end of the creative process.
We got this idea of a relationship through time and the idea of leaving. We decided to film different passages back and forth through the frame with various meetings and fadings in and out characters representing impermanence. It seemed like there was an autumn feeling to the song, which is why we used sepia tone. We used the appearing and disappearing characters to explore the duality of identity acknowledging that we’re not always just one personality or emotion or entity and that we are complex and can have many feelings at the same time. For example, the sentiment “should I stay or should I go?” Our passage through the frames could be a metaphor for different memories or dreams or projections or thoughts or fantasy. At the end, at the table, there is finally a sense of place and a rustic elegant sensibility to it but then even that is impermanent and disappears around us.
Art Bridgman and Myrna Packer, Artistic Directors of Bridgman|Packer Dance, are collaborators in performance and choreography and have toured their work throughout the United States, Europe, Asia, and Central America. Their innovative work developing “Video Partnering” — the integration of live performance and video technology — has been acclaimed for its highly visual and visceral alchemy of the live and the virtual. The 2008 Guggenheim Fellowship awarded to Bridgman and Packer was the first in the history of the Guggenheim Foundation to be given to two individuals for their collaborative work. Bridgman and Packer are recipients of grants from the National Endowment for the Arts for eight consecutive years from 2007 through 2014 and grants from New England Foundation for the Arts, New York State Council for the Arts, National Dance Project, USArtists International, Performing Americas Project, and La Red. They have received two Choreography Fellowships and a BUILD grant from the New York Foundation for the Arts, four National Performance Network Creation Fund Awards, and choreographic commissions from Dance Theater Workshop (now New York Live Arts), Portland Ovations, Danspace Project, the 92nd Street Y New Works in Dance Fund, and Dance New Amsterdam.
Photo Credit: Paul B. Goode
Seeing the painting I felt the deep space of night and the aroma of summer flowers. I felt a musical connection with the guitar strings and the birds in the background. What inspired my imagination most were the reds of the carpet and chair, inspiring pomegranate, and the deep midnight sky with its full moon and serenity yet wakefulness. I imagined this painting is of a place where one would go to think deeply and creatively – a late evening creative space.
About The Tea: The tea evokes the Deep space night and aromas of summer flowers… A euphoric feeling merging the visual of the stars and deep red colors with a musical connection with the guitar strings and the birds in the background. I opted for ingredients based partially on the colors of the painting, but the wakeful properties of Yerba Mate helped to fulfill the wish for a creative energy giving substance without actually having caffeinated tea. The reds of the carpet and chair induced a luscious flavor feeling, the deep midnight sky and full moon serenity yet wakefulness. Ingredients: Rooibos, Yerba Mate, Hibiscus, Pomegranate, Rose Petals, Stevia,
Throughout Heather and Chris Sack’s travels, they’ve sought after flavors from around the world that have inspired and enlightened their senses. The Great Lakes Tea & Spice Kiosk began when Henry Ford Health Systems approached Chris and Heather Sack, of Glen Arbor, MI to operate a tea service kiosk in their new Hospital. Their vision of providing natural, wholesome services to guests was a natural fit for the rustic, Northern Michigan ambiance of the facility. By collaborating with chefs and foodservice professionals, they created an experience of health, serenity and vitality through food and drink.
n the silence of this film I imagined I could hear the crunch of snow underfoot. To me the film was about random acts wehave no control over but that have a profound impact on our lives. The film made me reflect on choices and their consequences, on others, and us as we walk through life. I felt hope and acceptance around those consequences. I titled my sculpture “Dancefloor” which was inspired somewhat by the Australian Aboriginal tribes (like the Pintobe and the Walperry) who make three dimensional dance floors on flattened earth, then place clay balls and shapes, colored with pigment, in a significant pattern to describe an event. Then before the sunset, they dance the shapes into oblivion.
I was responding to the sense of wide open, unrestricted spaces in a lot of the artwork, but since I couldn’t make my space any bigger, I was drawn to make a space that was about the desire for wide open space — it is somewhat closed off, with an enclosed ceiling (probably a lightweight fabric-and-framework). You’ll have to duck a little to get in, after which the ceiling slopes up drastically to a wide opening, backed with a strongly lit fabric scrim, to give the effect of the sky we’d all like to escape to every once in a while. The tea, plus the narrative in the song, made me dwell a little on the comfortable domesticity that keeps us stuck, so I arranged some comfortable, if slightly ratty furniture around the more interactive artwork — the sculpture, music, and tea. The whole configuration accidentally ended up being a little nest-like, so I put a little emphasis on that! One of my strong connections was with swallow nests, in barns but mostly dug into the sides of cliffs — in my space they became niches, (or nests,) for teacups in a range of scales. There is also an accumulation of discarded and broken cups — those swallows sure make a mess! — because it’s sometimes the accumulation from our day-to-day habits that drives us to escape.
Mac Young is a Boston-based actor, director, and scenic designer, who delights in creating innovative performance spaces, especially for collaborative ensembles and devised theatre. His design work is an attempt to create a distinct visual world with very minimal means, as well as a dynamic arrangement of the available space that gives the performers rich possibilities for communicating visually, spatially, and physically. A graduate of Bennington College, he has acted, built, designed, and directed (though rarely all at once) with such Boston companies as Imaginary Beasts, Whistler in the Dark, New Rep, Huntington Theatre company, andActor’s Shakespeare Project, and is the Technical Director and resident Scenic Designer at the Vineyard Playhouse.