Kristin Tollefson, director of education and diversity, equity & inclusion advancement for the Bainbridge Island Museum of Art, is leading a community-based collaborative art installation with support of Island Volunteer Caregivers, BIMA and an individual artist grant from Arts Humanities Bainbridge.
The work will be in progress over the next couple of weeks and will be presented at the METHOD Gallery in Seattle starting Jan. 8 through Feb. 20. METHOD’s hours are Friday and Saturdays from noon to 4 p.m. by appointment only and is located in the Tashiro Kaplan Building in Pioneer Square, 106 3rd Ave. S.
In the collaboration dubbed Both Ways, Tollefson explores how a tactile world rich with intimacy can be cultivated in this time of COVID-19 separation, a news release says. A sinuous garland made from natural materials such as wood, metal and felt curves throughout the gallery, a manifestation of sculptural gestures made by many hands.
“I envision a compilation of simple sculptural gestures, each constructed as individual elements to be touched and worn, accumulating in a sinuous garland reminiscent of a growing vine, that curves through the gallery, encircling the space,” Gaston Bachelard in The Poetics of Space says in the release. “The modular components — made of metal and embellished with wood, glass and felt — offer up potential for tactile discovery and interplay that can only happen in real life.
“An exchange of manual labor and documentation of this work being held and worn will comprise a narrative of photographs shared on a dedicated Instagram feed (@bothwaysproject) and in the gallery along with the finished work.”
Tollefson has been working with members of the senior community on Bainbridge to bring this interdependent process to life. IVC has distributed kits of parts to islanders who will fabricate individual elements of the garland; these will be collecting and assembled to become an integrated whole.
“The acts of distributing, making and collaborating counter the isolation that particularly impacts many vulnerable members of our society, and values their rich, sensual lives,” the release states. “These personal creative acts are translated into a narrative that both embodies and represents growth, adaptability and the power of community.”