I finished installing Paper Mountain at Elder Gallery of Contemporary Art last week. After one year of planning, three months of folding paper cranes, and one week of installation with a team, it feels good to see the project come to life and to share it with others.
Below are two time lapse videos showing the installation process from Saturday night through Wednesday. I used GoPros to shoot one photo per minute for the duration of the installation. The first video was shot from the ground floor, and the second was shot from the mezzanine for a bird’s eye view. These are the steps we followed to install Paper Mountain:
- Assemble the scaffold (not for the faint of heart)
- Place tape on the floor to mark the footprint of the mountain
- Attach the wire fence to the ceiling trusses
- Tie fishing line to the wire
- Open each crane (fold wings down)
- Pierce the top of a crane with a needle
- Run fishing line through a crane
- Place crane at correct height
- Squeeze split shot (small lead weight) under the bird to hold it in place
- Repeat for each bird
- Inspect and make adjustments
- Trim fishing line underneath birds
- Sweep underneath the piece
- Light the piece
- Disassemble the scaffold (terrifying)
Beyond the Mountain is up at Elder Gallery of Contemporary Art until April 26, 2019. If you haven’t already, go see it! You’ll experience Paper Mountain, Sky Project, and paintings by me and Martha Armstrong.
On November 14th, 2018, I started folding 1200 birds for Paper Mountain. Well I actually started earlier, but all the birds I folded before then didn’t make the cut. I was testing out papers, and didn’t find the right combination of size and weight until the middle of November. So from mid November until February 12th, I folded birds every single day without fail (except for 3 days spent painting at a workshop). In this video, I am folding the last of the 1200 birds. As soon as I folded that last bird, I felt a tinge of nostalgia. I really enjoyed my daily folding (typically 1-2 hours per day).
From March 9-14, I’ll be installing Paper Mountain and Sky Project at Elder Gallery of Contemporary Art in Charlotte, NC. The exhibit opens on March 15th. I’m still raising money to make this project happen, and I’d love it if you would contribute and be a part of this big undertaking. Thanks to everyone who has already contributed to the project!
Please forward and share this with all your friends!
Note: The video is sped up 2x and it’s set to Ella Fitzgerald’s “A-Tisket, A-Tasket.”
To learn more about Paper Mountain, visit the project page.
I’ve been folding paper since I was a child. It has always been a mindful activity that brings me peace. Today is world kindness day, so I want to share peace and kindness with you as I fold this crane.
My heart breaks each time I hear the news these days, and as an artist, we sometimes question the validity of what we do in times of crisis. But after years of thinking about this, I know that what artists do is essential to humankind. We open up conversations and connections between people who may never meet. And today in a small quiet way, I am sending peace, love, and kindness to the world. Paper folding is a prayer for peace.
This week’s ten cranes. The total is 211.
10 more tiny cranes to add to the collection. The current tally is 201.
I found some tiny sheets of very pretty paper today. Happiness! So here are 10 more cranes to add to the bunch. 191 total now
Ten cranes closer to 1000. The crane total is now 181.
It was nice to shut off my brain and just repeat the same motions over and over to make my 10 cranes today. The tally is 171.