Sunday, November 19, 2017

The Quest

“Every community has a story. Deep
in the forested wetlands of tupelo,
bald cypress, oak, and hickory is the
hidden world of the delta. Interlaced
with bayous, rivers, oxbow lakes and
sandy ridges the hardwood swamps
of the North American South
obscures one of the most persistent
extinction questions of the modern
world. Is there an elusive living ivory-
billed woodpecker to be found?”

The Quest
by The Myth Makers
Donna Dodson & Andy Moerlein
Nov 18, 2017- Feb 25, 2018

Crevasse 22 | River House, PS Satellite, a Project of Prospect New Orleans, welcomes visitors to Migration: an exhibition of 25 contemporary and regional artists in the museum and sculpture garden, curated by Jeanne Nathan, Executive Director of the Creative Alliance of New Orleans.

Update: John D'Addario covered this story on April 3, 2018 for the New Orleans Advocate, "Crevasse 22 in St. Bernard: a day in the country, surrounded by art."

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

The Intrepid Albatross

In August, The Myth Makers were invited to be the Artists in Residence at the Keelung National Museum of Marine Science & Technology in Taiwan. Organized by Jane Ingram Allen, this International Marine Environmental Art Project invites artists from the USA, Europe and Taiwan to complete monumental public works that connect art and science. 

We worked with three groups of volunteers to complete our project on site. We also worked with the local students at the Keelung National Senior High School and shared our process of art making. We used a puppet making curriculum where each student made two animal headed avatars, one representing their favorite animal self and one representing a secret animal self. Then the students wrote myths and stories and acted out plays with their puppet avatars. On the last day we worked in teams demonstrating bamboo techniques and the students built a bamboo environment at the center of their school campus.

During the month long residency, our own sculpture transformed from its original idea into something new and site specific. We arrived eager to learn more about bamboo as a sculpture medium. We had visions of continuing our globe embracing mission to advocate for sustainable ocean resources. We expected to build a twin to our New Bedford MA Widow's Walk.

We began conversations about fishermen and our American whaling traditions. We talked about the architecture of Victorian houses and "Widow's Walks" aa well as the dress of 18th Century America with our Taiwanese hosts and friends. We could not seem to reach a clear understanding. When we mentioned cormorants, they were puzzled. This was not a familiar bird. We found ourselves with a lot of ideas that perhaps did not belong.

We built a majestic female figure using bamboo techniques learned from Keelung's 85 year old Bamboo Master. We asked everyone we encountered in the ocean side fishing village,"What bird symbolizes the vast ocean ecology?" The Albatross stood out. The albatross is sometimes used metaphorically to mean a psychological burden that feels like a curse. This is an allusion to Samuel Taylor Coleridge's poem The Rime of the Ancient Mariner (1798). The albatross is a natural anomaly - a bird that flies all the world's oceans on wings that are up to 12 feet (3.3 meters). The albatross chick can stay at sea for up to five years before finding their way home to begin a lifelong mating. Birds that lose their mates do not breed again. A majestic and storied bird, the albatross was just the poetic symbol we sought for our work at NMMST in Keelung Taiwan: Watch the brief project video.

The Intrepid Albatross, 20 ft tall, 2017
bamboo, wire ties, recycled rubber, mirrors

She stands facing the sea, like generations of sailor's wives. The Intrepid Albatross is optimistic for the ocean's future bounty, yet she feels uncertain about the sustainability of this massive rich resource. Like the Myth Makers, she believes in a world where all nations contract together to protect and celebrate the sea's vitality. This is one of a series of monumental temporary sculptures in a globe embracing project by The Myth Makers.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Widow's Walk: a Globe Embracing Project

The Widow's Walk, Artist's Sketch

The Myth Makers are going to be working on two continents this summer to build their newest Avian Avatar. The Widow's Walk will be part of the New Bedford Seaport Art Walk in Mass. USA and the Keelung National Museum of Marine Science & Technology International Marine Environment Art Project in Taiwan!

The Widow's Walk, Seaport Art Walk 2017 New Bedford, Mass.

The concept for the Seaport Art Walk this year is Sustainable Oceans and it is curated by Jessica Bregoli. This piece is called the Widow's Walk and it is a mythical cormorant figure of a widow contemplating the uncertain future of our oceans in much the same way as sailor's spouses used to anticipate their return. Donna Dodson and Andy Moerlein used recycled plastic to draw attention to the gyre and the pollution of our oceans with plastic waste that threatens sea life. The Myth Makers are building a twin to this piece in Taiwan in August since this is an international issue.

Widow's Walk, Detail

Update: Wesley Sykes covered this story in South Coast Today on May 30, 2017, "Who’s the new bird in downtown New Bedford?" Chris Arsenault covered this story on May 30, 2017 for Fun 107 FM, "Busty Seagull’s Sister Flew Into Downtown, New Bedford." Carlos Pimentel Felix interviewed us on May 30th for New Bedford Live, "The Myth Makers are Back in New Bedford.Holly Camero covered this project in Wicked Local on June 1, 2017, "Maynard artists create sculpture for seaport exhibit."

Widow's Walk, bamboo, recycled black plastic, wire ties

For more information on the Taiwan project:

"The artists selected for the 2017 Keelung National Museum of Marine Science &Technology International Marine Environment Art Project have been announced. This year we had an overwhelming 231 applications from artists in many different countries. The following international artists have been selected for 2017 artist-in-residency projects at the National Museum of Marine Science & Technology in Keelung, Taiwan:"

Foreign Artists:
Patrick Demazeau│France
Susanne Ruoff│Germany
Donna Dodson and Andy Moerlein (the Mythmakers)│USA
Debbie Fish│New Zealand
Irene Hoppenberg│Germany

Taiwanese Artists:
Chen Chih Yang 楊金池
Chien Chih Chen 陳建智
Yoroe Lin 林猷柔