mapping memories of space in time

During the 1st phase of the Red Line project, Mark Parsons held several workshops in which he asked members of the GFS community to draw remembered domestic architectural landscapes, nurturing environments, places charged with familial relationships and history. The participants then transferred their drawings to tow large sheets of paper and were encouraged to enlarge and overlap them, so that their drawings covered the whole surface. Each large drawing grew in complexity as the components of individual drawings converged and intertwined – bedrooms, dining rooms and kitchens, furniture and fireplaces, houses and gardens, paths and swing sets – into a densely integrated weave of ideas about domesticity. These two drawings provided the foundation from which the sculpture evolved.

In the second phase of the project, Parsons studied the collaboratively created drawings to identify the dominant patterns. He emphasized these patterns to create the final line compositions, each of which has a very different character. The two large drawings were then placed on gently curved plywood frames and covered with clear plastic. The artist packed a deep red paper pulp over the dominant lines, and community participants packed white paper pulp around the lines and to the edges of the frames – about 4 inches thick for each color. When dried, they have the appearance of large red line drawings on white paper. The two paper arcs tipped on their sides, supported by metal armatures, and leaned together form a strikingly expressive sculpture.

Although each phase of a collaborative process incorporates elements of surprise, the final phase of this project is largely unpredictable. In the Spring of 2013, the recycled paper sculpture was installed outdoors , on a site in the sculpture meadow, where it is now exposed to the forces of nature throughout the seasons: sun, rain, wind, and wintry freeze and thaw cycles.