Studies for Little Tube House and the Night Sky combined my gouache paintings, dioramas, and architectural sculpture to transform the gallery space into a poetic contemplation of friendship, death, and connection.
I once saw a diminutive structure with tubes and wires protruding on the shores of Lake Superior. When a young friend became ill and passed away, I began a series of gouache paintings depicting a small, pale house with pipes and cables frantically reaching out into a large and formidable darkness. The images now form a poetic narrative representing my friend’s energy, spirit, and connection to the Universe. In a larger sense, they represent a final journey. While always remaining grounded and connected to Earth, the house’s searching tubes eventually allow it to stretch to reach the stars.
In addition to the gouache paintings, I built small-scale dioramas of the little tube house and a sculpture as large as life. Existing as the studies for a more expansive exhibition, my installation at Mixed Greens filled the darkened gallery. Viewers entered a night sky that hinted at the larger universe the little tube house longed to occupy. While this piece specifically referenced my friend, it also referenced our collective journey into the unknown.
Photo credit: Etienne Frossard