It all started with an email on April 1 that thankfully was not an April Fool's prank. Austin Thomas, friend and artist with a diverse practice that is best captured by the term social sculpture, contacted me to say that she would be driving from LA to Marfa in mid-April. Her mission was to install three Perches, hybrid sculptural/architectural objects around which events are created, along the way. She generously offered to install one at BoxoHOUSE and I quickly accepted.
On Monday April 16, I hosted several local artists and BoxoPROJECTS collaborators to drinks and dinner as we awaited the arrival of the artist and sculptures. Austin was accompanied by Jason Andrew, Director of Norte Maar, the non-profit collaborative arts organization in Bushwick. The travelers arrived late evening having flown to LA from NYC, launched their trip with a dip in the Pacific, collected the sculptures from storage and driven to Joshua Tree. Introductions were made, lively conversation continued and plans for the second perch were hatched.
Yesterday morning, April 17th, we all rose early. Jason for a run and Austin for a long walk, taking in the amazing morning landscape. After breakfast, a Perch was unloaded and assembled and we found the perfect spot - the east patio which takes in the long views of the landscape as well as the rocks, all in the shade of the mulberry tree. Now installed, the Perch is available for relaxation, meditation, conversation and anything else that creative minds hatch. In Austin's words: "You don't have yo change your life, just change your position".
The second Perch was then taken to Diane Best, friend and BoxoPROJECTS collaborator, where it will be installed in the open land near a path that the quail follow daily. Diane has named it Quail Perch. While there, a tortoise wandered toward us - a good omen for all. A crocheted blanket, the companion to the second Perch, was donated to Shari Elf's World Famous Crotchet Museum.
Mission accomplished in Joshua Tree, Austin and Jason hit the road bound for Marfa via Tucson. They should arrive today and the last Perch will be installed there tomorrow. The Perch for BoxoHOUSE and Quail Perch are within eyeline of each other. I like to think that Austin's vision now runs that line all the way to Marfa, linking two wonderful centers of inspiration and creativity.
Thank you Austin and Jason! Read Austin's account of the project here.