|Public Art Commission by the Arts Council of New Orleans and the Joan Mitchell Foundation
(Artist: Eric Dallimore)
I began the project in June 2008 and it was completed Nov. 28th, 2008 at Longue Vue Home and Garden in New Orleans. A link to the Longue Vue Home and Garden can be found at www.longuevue.com The sculpture was built in the Johnson Pond area and is on loan for a minimum of 2 years, possibly longer. After two years the project officially will become my property, but I may allow it to stay at Longue Vue for a longer period of time. It may also be transferred to a museum or gallery in 2011, but this is still pending.
I grew up in New Orleans and when I came home after the storm, the thing that struck me hardest was the amount of materials everywhere, on lawns, piled up on neutral grounds, any empty lot became a dump site, as well as people's front lawns turning into a 12' tall trash site. So I proposed this concept to the ACNO to use some of these beautiful, old pieces of wood, wood that was in some cases over a hundred years old. It housed many generations of New Orleanians, it's vibrant color became a benchmark of New Orleans architecture, and I wanted to preserve that history as well as engage the community to rethink what we were doing with our 'garbage' materials. I also feared that the new houses might be bland, and without the old color of the past, but thankfully I was very wrong about that one, the homes are being rebuilt and the city is as colorful as ever!
I spent about three months collecting and restoring the wood, which meant very lightly sanding and scrubbing off all the debris using soap and water on each individual piece...on both sides! I then used ESP's Poly Soy Satin Finish to coat each individual piece, again both sides. I chose this product so that I could continue to keep with the theme of sculpture of promoting an alternative, no, a better way of working, rather than create a toxic and material intensive work of art. I believe that I used about 15 gallons all together of the Poly-Soy.
I hope this piece will touch on a personal level for viewers, to remember homes they grew up in, and the history of what happened in Aug. of 2005, but I also hope this sculpture will show people to think outside the box, that trash has turned into a work of art.
The image of the 'wave' was used to of course represent the events of Aug and Sept. of 2005 in New Orleans, but it also represents so much more. Just as a wave travels across an ocean, collecting materials, information and finally coming to rest on a shore, I too traveled throughout the US and Europe to become the person and artist that I am. So this piece represents that aspect of myself as an artist, finally coming home to New Orleans to create my first public art project, bringing all of my knowledge and experience with me. This is an incredible honor and privilege, to create that first public art piece in my hometown!