tu me manques (mais je suis si heureuse): A Site-Specific, Site-Responsive Environmental Art Installation

tu me manques (mais je suis si heureuse) 
Artist Residency and Exhibition
SCAD Lacoste, Lacoste, France, 2014
A Site-Specific, Site Responsive Installation
(natural objects, found objects, olfactory, sound)
installation art 
tu me manques (mais je suis si heureuse) 
(photographs by Dionis Carter)

In Lacoste, there is a tale about the clouds of happiness. The clouds of happiness float above Lacoste and are within reach to those below. On the roofs of most of the homes in the village is an extra tile in the shape of a hand that is reaching up to grab these clouds. 
 
In "tu me manques (mais je suis si heureuse), I reach up and grab one of the clouds of happiness and decorate the interior of it so I could inhabit the space. The cloud ripples down the side of the building and enters the window of my home (the exhibition space). The interior is filled with objects that express the happiness I experienced as a result of the relationship I developed with the natural environment of Lacoste. 

All the objects in the installation were found in and around Lacoste during my daily morning walks. I did not set out to search for or find any particular object.  Rather, I let the story unfold as I found each object. The installation is the artefact of my experience.
 
The box spring was the first piece I found-tangled in the high grass of an abandoned limestone quarry. I knew immediately that it would become the main focus of the installation. I was restricted by the gallery space, as it is an original restored medieval cave. I was not allowed to drill any new holes into the stone, requiring me to use the existing ones. 
 
There was a cross wire in the space, and I decided to hang the box spring vertically from it. The glowing white bed sheets on the box spring were an amazing backdrop for the vintage scythe, simultaneously a symbol of harvest and of the Grim Reaper. I purposely positioned the scythe on one side of the bed to make the statement that death is my constant companion. As an emerging artist in graduate school at 50 years old, death is a friend who reminds me to live my life to the fullest everyday.  
 
I fashioned the chain link fencing I found in the woods into a hanging chair. The eggs, bird, flowers and moss were also found while walking. Immediately before the exhibition, I gathered the moss from the forest and covered the floor with it (I returned and replanted it directly after the exhibition).
 
I incorporated sound in the form of a recording I did on one of my walks of a bird greeting the dawn. I also included an olfactory component in the form of Linden flowers (Linden trees surrounded the village). 

The last item I found was the swing, which I found at an antique market. To me it represents the joy and the healing one can experience being in nature. It is the object that says unequivocally, "je suis si heureuse".
installation art 
 installation art 
 installation art 
 installation art 
 installation art 
 installation art