My friend Hillary took me to see the Blue Herons' nests at Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary last Saturday. A bald eagle tried to attack the colony (rookery). Half of the birds flew out of the tree at the same time to chase off the eagle and the ones that were left in the nests stood straight up with their beaks pointing so pointedly at the sky. It was really powerful, they are large birds and I could feel them take off even though we were on the opposite bank of the marsh. Hillary's favorite part was when the birds came back to land in the trees.
I recently got to experience a performance of Jeff Huckleberry during Reach Fest. I was a little late so I did not get to see the very beginning. I felt a little terrified but extremely connected to the character before me rolling around embracing a pile of 2 x 4s with bottles of beer stuffed into all the pockets of his work pants and wind chimes strung around his genitals stuffed into his pants. Is he clownish? He has a big red nose on. I am made a little nervous by clowns. His rolling is so deliberate and this work is hard.
He has left the ground coffee to get ground some more by his power sander in a box (and the coffee has touched his head and shoulders first). He sits on a chair in a larger box, pulls out his wind chimes to dangle and pours a 30 rack of beer over his head slowly.
He only makes grunts and breathing sounds for the duration of the performance.
The following is from an interview with Jeff Huckleberry in response to when he started working with wood. I started working with lumber when I was working on my thesis show in 2003. I was exploring some of the “characters” that were/are directly involved with my development as a person, namely my Dad, his father (a master carpenter), and my Scout Master. Sometimes when I see my shadow on the street I get startled and think that my Dad is standing next to me. That shadow is often represented by pieces of lumber, or by the activity of cutting boards, or by the smell of saw dust, or most directly, by the sweat dripping off my nose while bent over some impossible task. The lumber, if it represents anything other than itself, is the hard work of making work. The lumber is also very much a kind of minimalist art project that could be viewed as separate from its possible meanings and interpretations (impossible?). Lumber, in all shapes and sizes has the potential for any number of possible physical relationships. Wood is one of those materials that will accept me no matter how ineptly or masterfully I interact with it. So, I keep using it.