When last we visited the Falls of the Ohio the river was rising. Several days of intense rainfall throughout the Ohio Valley are now flowing by and coloring the water a muddy ocher. My outdoor site where I make my polystyrene figures and store materials is being usurped by twin forces. It’s difficult gauging the intentions of this visitor or visitors, however, I also continue finding their waste soft drink cups and bottles. What’s with the blue drinks? I guess the color blue is also your symbol for cool refreshment. If I am to continuing working here, I will need to change the driftwood structure erected over my site. I was secretly hoping that the river would solve this dilemma for me. If the water rose high enough, it would move the largest beached logs which would effect everything near them. That didn’t happen. The river fell short of my spot and a visible line demarcating brown wet wood from bleached, silver-gray wood marks the high waterline.
The structure the visitors are building is enclosing the space. As it is, it’s difficult now to stand on the center sand, especially since a growing pit is developing. My collected river materials continue to be strewn about. I initially liked that someone else was seeing the potential of this site and adding their distinctiveness to the mix. Now I’m seeing less intent here and and I’m going to make the next move and see what happens? First, I will need to find and repair the large Styro-figure I left here sitting on the roof. He’s a participant/witness to all the proceeding events.
Again he looks like he was cast aside. I find everything except his mouth and replace it with some other river plastic I picked up. I reattach his arms and legs and he’s as good as new again. Well almost, the excitement with the visitors and the unpredictable nature of the river have dinged his persona. He never said much before and he says even less now. How unfortunate. I park him in a nearby try to keep him safe.
I’ve seen this before and call it “Styro-shock” or “polystyrene demensia”. Imagine willing your body into a stasis where you have no awareness at all and you will begin to know what it means to be Styrofoam. He might come out of it on his own…who knows? I turned my attention back to the wooden structure to see what I could do to affect the space in a positive way. I’m not interested in getting into some escalating contest of wills with someone. While I figured out what to do…my silent friend continued to sit tight.
I stripped off the wood to expose the frame. Next, I flipped a few of the cross braces over which opened the center of the space back up. I created a small doorway by cutting away some excess wood with my saw on my Swiss Army knife. That has come in handy more than once.
Using the wood already collected, I made a small lean-to for a shelter and a wall of upright sticks to enclose the space on one end and create more visual interest. The maple tree on site separates one area from another. There’s plenty more that can be done, but I decide to stop here and see if anything happens while I’m away. The site now does a better job of corralling any wayward Styrofoam and has further called attention to the studio site as a performance space. As the day progressed which was sunny and cooler than usual…the sun shone just right to highlight the interior of my studio under the willows and filled it with energy.
It was a long and busy day by the muddy river. I have lots of other interesting pictures to show you, but they are worthy of separate posts which will happen soon. For now, I’ll end with a backward glance of my studio under the willows as I walked towards home.