Part One : "Compound eye/"I". Or, how the embers from a first Burn sparked the creatives fires in the direction of large-scale art.

photo by Trey Ratcliff.jpg

"Compound eye/'I'" was the first sculpture I envisioned in my mind's eye, along with a sister sculpture, as yet unrealized) in early 2006. I had been to Burning Man for the first time in 2005 and was utterly blown away by everything about it (except dub step), but the art especially and that all the artists had worked so hard, and out of own pocket, to manifest their expressions on such a large-scale.  I thought of that experience often, with reverence. It had taken root, catalyzing creative embers sparked during that first visit: … during a 2006 visit to Mysore, India, where I studied yoga each year, I woke up from a vivid dream in which I had just built a sculpture/installation at Burning Man. The sense of having done it was very real, and exciting, though the piece itself was hideous. Inspired by the feeling of having created something at Burning Man, but decidedly unimpressed by the piece I'd made in the dream, I asked myself "Well, what would I create then? What do I want to see there? "…and I envisioned two sculptures: one of them a 30'/ 9 m tall human figure sitting in meditation, androgynous and very elongated in form, gazing out over the horizon, all surfaces covered in convex mirrors, with a mirrored "sitting" space inside. The other sculpture was a fusion of eyeballs (which I'd been collecting and drawing in different forms since my teens), represented by convex mirrors and silvered spheres, overlaid onto a fractal shape, the Mandelbrot form. I loved the big, dark, industrial art I saw in the desert, but craved reflective surfaces and rounded forms. My eye wanted to also see light, elegance, subtlety, detail on that scale.  I was deeply excited about these pieces and wished that I had the skills and lifestyle to be create them myself. Alas, I had neither, but I hoped that someone would create them one day….the rest is history.
*Side note: a big feature of the ugly sculpture in the dream was an array of international flags tacked all over a wooden structure. In 2010, the year I finally did my first sculpture, the 'pavilion' around the Man was covered in exactly that display of flags. My sculpture was close to the Man, so I frequently took in the weirdness of that vista and suspected the Universe was playing jokes...