On the Shoofly - May 2019
- Story by Steve Barney, photos courtesy of TAHC
35 years ago, visionary artist Milton Bienvenue led a group of Coast artists to create an installation of works intertwined with nature under the light of the full moon. It was “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”
Ann Madden, Vice President of The Arts, Hancock County, heard about the event from Bay St. Louis artist Kat Fitzpatrick a year ago and was inspired by Milton to re-create this event as “Under the Flower Moon.”
Taking place on May 18th, 24 art installations and performing artists came out for one evening, under the full May moon.
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For The Arts, Hancock County, producing an event like this was uncharted territory. None of the art would be for sale; it is a temporary experience of art in nature. How many artists would want to participate? Would anyone drive 30-plus minutes to the wilderness to experience it? It turns out that 27 artists and over 250 visitors wanted to take part.
Led by Ann Madden, Kristie Buddenbaum and Bernie Cullen, the planning committee’s first task was to find the right venue – one that would allow visitors to experience nature while simultaneously allowing for the logistics of handling a large event.
On their first visit to La Terre Bioregional Center and Art Studios last fall, the “dream team” knew immediately they had found the perfect place. Property owners James and Peggy Inabinet were excited about the opportunity to share where they live, work and provide a multitude of programs to the community.
This magical space was the perfect setting for this event. Located on Bayou La Terre about 15 miles north of the coast, La Terre is an amazing collection of handcrafted structures, walking paths, creek bluffs, permaculture gardens, art studios, ceremonial lodges and so much more.
James and Peggy are multi-talented artists, craftsmen, healers, farmers and educators. The Inabinets extend art to life’s journey itself – again, the invisible made visible. Emerson called this journey the “life of a poet.” Kandinsky called it a “life of art.”
Editor's note: James Inabinet also writes the "Nature Notes" column for the Shoofly Magazine. These "unexpected explorations" take readers to a place where philosophy meets nature. Click here for his current column and scroll down for archived columns.
James specializes in weaving and dyeing shawls, rugs, and belts of natural fibers. Some dyes are grown in the garden [indigo] while others are wild-crafted [walnut husks, Osage orange]. La Terre co-proprietor Peggy is also an amazing multimedia artist.
Peggy says, “I love the forest in which I live. The flowers and leaves are so stunning that I just have to watercolor them. The creatures I see tucked inside a flower or nibbling on a leaf intrigue me. But when I create in clay it's expressing my beliefs that seem to come forth from within. Hence, I create nativities, angels, Sacred Hearts, and petrogylph plaques using terra cotta clays.”
It also includes the bootstrapping of techniques that enable the art of becoming fully human, that enable the art of human flourishing within a flourishing ecosystem and enables the art of acting in the service of Gaia, in communion with the life-producing biosphere as an integral and functional component.
The Inabinets were enthusiastic to host a large event which incorporate the utopian principles of the Burningman global movement: Inclusion, Gifting, Immediacy, Leave No Trace, Self-Reliance, Self Expression, Civic Responsibility and Communal Effort.
On Saturday, May 18, on an amazing moonlit night, it all happened… and for the 250 people who participated, it was a magical evening beyond anyone’s expectations.
27 artists, all members of The Arts, Hancock County participated, coming from New Orleans and across the Gulf Coast. Local Jazzabilly favorites, Heather and The Monkey King, performed in the carport, which became a central gathering spot featuring tasty food by Savage Skillet.
Later in the evening visitors experienced the hypnotic performance of Hancock Arts regulars Pandorium Belly Dance Troupe and Priestess Sisters Fire Dance.
Ann Madden produced an installation using gel transfers of family photos as well as heirlooms and lights.
Cynthia Mahner and Karen West created Moonlight at the Oasis filled with sculpture, cushions, treats and magic elixers.
Danielle Inabinet fabricated a collection of delicate porcelain forms arranged within the sanctuary of the forest.
Deb Schwedhelm produced a video projection and printing of photographs onto a large piece of white fabrics delicately hung in the branches of trees.
Dharma Gilley displayed abstracted paintings and wrote poems for visitors on her typewriter.
Elisa Desilva made a collection of faeries under the garden arbor.
Gregory Matusoff created a surreal cityscape intertwined with nature.
Holly Garvin created an underwater fantasy of jellyfishes and Gyptaku fish rubbing.
Hunter Cole created a nature-themed installation of Petri dishes with bioluminescent bacteria.
Jaqueline Mongoose and Eve Eisenman created Enchanted Night: A Wish Upon a Cloud, filled with wish faeires, whimsical paintings and sculptures.
James Inabinet created Mother Earth, a partially buried torso birthing spring flower lights.
Jane Clair Tyner made mobile sculptural pieces made of found bones, prayer sticks and flags.
Joby Bass and Jessica Dark fabricated a driftwood tree with ceramic flowers.
Kerr Grabowski and Micky Arnold created enlarged creatures of the night!
Lisa Keel and Donna Martin made lighted shrine Art of dazzling glass, fabric and tree branches. Night blooming Flowers - fairies and Moons.
Margaret Inabinet An installation of King Cake babies in the context of nature.
Mark James did a spontaneous groundhog impersonation in midst of an extraterrestrial research area.
Monica Kelly Studio displayed a series of paintings about the divine feminine and the healing properties of flowers. Additionally, Monica’s team bodypainted designs inspired by the Flower Moon.
Samantha Shannon made a 12 inch high porcelain cast statue internally lit.
Steve Barney created a water sculpture made from broken pottery.
Look for more collaborative events between The Arts, Hancock County and LaTerre Bioregional Center and Art Studios in the future. For more info check out our websites: hancockarts.org and laterreintegralcenter.org.