Holding Space (Prayer Necklace), 2016, Cotton rope, plaster, 234 in diameter
Holding Space is a 39’ prayer necklace with 108 beads made by casting the space between my hands with plaster. This is an idea of time becoming tangible and the body as a place within space that had several iterations before I found the one that answered all the questions I was asking in a way that “feels right.” It started from two different points (images, ideas, visions): one, a long looped rope that has no beginning or end with the idea of physically pulling yourself through space and time and the sheer labor of existence.
Thinking of the body as a place instead of a thing and trying to find space within our physical being, I took casts of the space between my thumb and middle finger while they were touching and made tiny plaster masses that looked like landforms. I think a lot about the Coastline Paradox and how a known space can really be undefinable. Through the process of making those things the ideas merged and formed something new that I would not have thought of or imagined before.
Each plaster bead on the rope takes about 10 minutes. I take mixed plaster in my hands when it is still runny, but thick. The plaster is cold and formless so I have to squeeze my hands together tightly to hold on to it. I then close my eyes and hold the plaster and meditate, pray for rightness in our world, and think about things that are of great concern to me that I have no control over; things that are happening in our world that seem so removed from the privilege of getting to make art (anger, hatred, global warming, poverty, violence, and yes, our insane election). I think about people that I care about and hold them in my mind. While I am sitting there, the plaster in my hands transforms from a liquid to a solid. It becomes warm and as I peel my hands away, a space which did not exist before becomes a reality. Something from nothing.