Making “Dancing for Joy (By the Will of the People)”

Creating a monumental sculpture like “Dancing for Joy (By the Will of the People)” involves a blend of artistic vision, meticulous planning, and hands-on craftsmanship. This blog post takes you behind the scenes of The Myth Makers’ creative process, offering a glimpse into the intricate steps involved in bringing this bamboo masterpiece to life.

The journey of “Dancing for Joy” began with a concept inspired by the natural beauty and vibrant birdlife of Back Cove. Dodson and Moerlein envisioned two great egrets, captured in their enchanting mating dance, as a symbolic representation of the area’s wildlife and the dynamic flow of people through the park.

The initial design phase involved detailed sketches and digital renderings, allowing the artists to refine their vision and address practical considerations such as scale, materials, and site-specific challenges. The goal was to create a sculpture that is both visually striking and interactive, inviting visitors of all ages to engage with the artwork.

A key aspect of The Myth Makers’ work is their commitment to using natural, sustainable materials. For “Dancing for Joy,” they chose bamboo, a material known for its strength, flexibility, and environmental benefits. Bamboo grows quickly and requires minimal resources, making it an eco-friendly choice for large-scale sculptures.

The artists carefully selected bamboo stalks of varying sizes and shapes, ensuring that each piece would contribute to the overall structural integrity and aesthetic appeal of the sculpture.

Building a twenty-foot-tall bamboo sculpture is no small feat. The construction process began with the creation of a sturdy framework, using larger bamboo stalks to form the primary structure. This framework provided the necessary support for the intricate weaving and binding of smaller bamboo pieces that followed.

Dodson and Moerlein employed traditional bamboo construction techniques, including lashing and knotting, to securely bind the bamboo elements together. This hands-on craftsmanship not only ensured the stability of the sculpture but also added a layer of authenticity and connection to natural materials.

Every large-scale art project comes with its own set of challenges, and “Dancing for Joy” was no exception. One of the primary challenges was ensuring the sculpture’s stability and durability, given its temporary nature and exposure to the elements. Bamboo is naturally weather resistant, and the design of the anchors and ballasts ensure stability.

Throughout the construction process, Dodson and Moerlein documented their progress with photos and videos, capturing the evolution of the sculpture from initial sketches to final assembly. These behind-the-scenes glimpses offer a fascinating look at the dedication and craftsmanship involved in bringing “Dancing for Joy” to life.

The creation of “Dancing for Joy” is a testament to The Myth Makers’ artistic vision, technical skill, and commitment to sustainability. As the sculpture takes its place on the shores of Back Cove, it stands as a beacon of creativity and community, inviting all who visit to share in the joy and wonder it embodies.

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