On Saturday May 30 at 5 pm we unveiled the sculpture with a ceremony. It was a beautiful, if windy, day and a supportive crowd gathered on the Observation Deck. I was moved by how many friends came out from all over the East End and even NYC, as well as locals, participants and representatives from the Greenport Village. I was surprised to also meet newcomers to Greenport who had discovered the project for the first time.
Former Mayor David Nyce made an introduction and then I spoke a bit about the inspiration for the project, gave many thanks, and introduced the participating families, who everyone was excited to meet (see the lovely picture taken by Lisa Finn/Southold Local above.) Then my husband Pierre Cote and David Nyce cut open the tyvek “veil” and my son Nathaniel was the first to look through the eyes to the vista. People cued up and took a look-through.
Everyone commented on what a perfect day it was and all that was reflected in the sculpture – it all seemed meant to be- the site, the view, the skies and water behind and though, the town of Greenport and the viewer reflected within the wheel. The past and the present cycling all at once. I must say that I was truly rewarded upon seeing the piece in it’s envisioned place. After seeing it indoors for so long, it reminded me that when a piece is site-specific there is truly a magic when it arrives there and comes to life. To truly be surprised by my own art and process- it’s one of the great rewards of being an artist and what drives me forward.
I wonder what comes next.
After a dinner with friends, I returned to take in the sun setting and it was outstanding – a moment I’ll never forget:
The next day the wonderfully supportive reporter Lisa Finn from Southold Local – who has been following the project since my first proposal to the board at Town Hall back in September through covering the opening ceremony- wrote this lovely article:
In October, Arthur Tasker contacted me after seeing my call for participants in the paper. We met at Aldo’s where he told me about his family’s migration to Greenport from the New York City. The Taskers had a business in leather goods in the 19th Century and later Arthur came to follow in his ancestor’s footsteps as a lawyer. We met a few days later at his Sandy Beach house, where Arthur has memories of growing up and now grows oysters. I interviewed him on film and then he showed me pictures from his family history. Arthur is an avid genealogist and has records of his family going back over 200 years. (More to come in the video, so stay tuned.)
With each family I feature, I am looking to photograph eyes of ancestors and descendants, to create a family lineage. This is a photo of Arthur Middleton Tasker (1880-1938), Arthur’s grandfather for whom he is named.
I isolated and adjusted Arthur’s eyes in photoshop, exaggerating the contrast to bring out as much detail as possible.
This image I turned into a negative for printing on the pleixglass wheel on the sculpture. The whites will ultimately be transparent, such that the viewer can see right through the pupils, to the landscape beyond.
I am also creating a series of silkscreen prints for the project, so here are Arthur’s eyes translated into a bitmap pattern in a graphic image that, once shot onto a screen, can be transferred with ink onto another surface.
I’m looking for volunteers or suggestions of interested individuals whose families have resided in Greenport for at least 4 generations, up to and including the present. Participation will involve an interview for a short 5-10 minute documentary piece and photographs of the eyes of members of the family, both ancestors and descendants, which can be re-photographed from old photos. The videos will be screened at an event during the course of the show and available for viewing by the public, via this site.