Summer Day

… Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life? ~Mary Oliver

Poem The Summer Day by Mary Oliver & Illustrated Quote by Lisa Congdon. Happy Summer Solstice! The Artful Blog is taking an annual blogosphere hiatus through the Summer. Projects to create. Art to make. Journeys to take. Mysteries to contemplate. For body spirit peace of mind sake. See you on social media intermittently & back here in the Fall. Until then, enjoy the archives & the season!

Arise Festival

ARISE Musical Festival 5th Year Celebration August 4th-6th, 2017.  A musically diverse, festival-wonderland experience. Featuring 8 stages of live music, yoga, workshops, provocative documentary films and panel discussions, art installations, live painters and art gallery, performance artists, theme camps, a Wisdom Village and a Solution’s Village -showcasing ecological and social justice solutions with practical on-site demonstrations designed to make our world a better place, and more on 100+ beautiful mountain valley acres. Located at Sunrise Ranch -a 350-acre organic farm and retreat center located in a stunning Colorado mountain valley just west of the town of Loveland, this breathtaking Rocky Mountain oasis is the perfect container for participants to entertain and be entertained, explore their creative potential, connect with nature, stretch out, dive in, and dance. #arisethisaugust


The consummate summer camping festival for conscientious music fans -ARISE is renowned for bold and progressive “global cooling” initiatives, such as a long-held commitment to planting one tree with every ticket sold, staging a pre-festival permaculture training, local sourcing, an organic farmer’s market in the campground, and a leave-no-trace ethos. More than a music festival, it’s a movement. See here for lineup & tickets.

Note: The Artful Blog’s alma mater Naropa University has aligned with ARISE and is offering a discount on festival tickets to the Naropa community -current students & alumni.

The Journey

We have not even to risk the adventure alone
for the heroes of all time have gone before us.
The labyrinth is thoroughly known …
we have only to follow the thread of the hero path.
And where we had thought to find an abomination
we shall find a God.

And where we had thought to slay another
we shall slay ourselves.
Where we had thought to travel outwards
we shall come to the center of our own existence.
And where we had thought to be alone
we shall be with all the world.

~Joseph Campbell

Season Favorites


It’s October’s end and a feeling of lasting crispness is in the air and that means pumpkin spice and all things Fall-friendly and nice. Sharing The Artful Blog’s Fall Favorites, everything from Naturopathic Fortified Honey to artful artisanal decor to a quintessential Vermont country Inn escape. Echoing Autumn leaves and earthy Amber hues of the natural world, inviting a sense of warmth and wonder and comfort to enhance your seasonal outlook, in tempting Artful Blog style.


Chantecaille Lion Guardian Collection

Chantecaille Protect The Lions Collection was created to bring awareness to the groundbreaking work of the Lion Guardians -a conservation group based in Kenya’s Amboseli National Park that uses a solutions-based model, whereby people who were once Lion killers are transformed into lion protectors. The Lion Collection makeup was inspired by the colors of the beautiful coats of Lion cubs and the African landscape. A mesmerizing set that enhances all eye and skin colors, each limited-edition case is embossed with a Lion, a symbol of strength and pride. A key interest for Chantecaille is to be a company with a platform to draw attention to important issues of global sustainability, and to fund a foundation that supports related initiatives. Educating a broad audience and engaging people in bringing about positive change. Past and present causes and collections include: Elephants, Sea Turtles, Tigers, High Sea Whales, Wild Horses, Monarch Butterflies and Honey Bees. #powertomakeadiffernece


Susanne Kaufmann Organic Treats

Susanne Kaufmann’s eponymous, holistic skincare range is hand-finished in Austria’s Bregenz Forest Mountains -a unique valley in the Alps where the knowledge of the healing powers of nature are passed down from generation to generation, using the intensive effect of the Alpine plant world in a modern manner for beauty, health and comfort. Working from her spa in Hotel Post Bezau -a special place with a long, dynamic history now run by the fifth generation of Kaufmanns, each Suzzanne Kaufmann skincare product is produced with the greatest care, formulated for targeted results, and packed with organic, energy-rich oils and locally sourced active plant ingredients -including Chamomile, Sage and St. John’s Wort, recognized for their nourishing, regenerative effects. #alpineluxury


Sundance Catalog Picks

Favorites from the season’s Sundance Catalog founded by Robert Redford. Clothing with character, distinctive and handmade artisan wares, finely crafted and curated in the spirit of heritage: Legends of the Forest Coat, Flower Spirit Boots and the Morgan Backpack. Pretty, practical, and timeless, with all the feels of Fall. The Sundance Catalog -The Artful Blog’s favorite place to shop for the last two decades, having recently celebrated its 25th anniversary, is a company rooted in the American West, with a strong historical commitment to the artisan community, that creates a unique environment for artists and craftspeople to reach a broad audience of enthusiasts. Now with plans to continue its retail growth with stores targeted across various locations nationwide, from a small operation run out of the attic of the old Sundance Village Firehouse, Sundance Catalog has grown to become one of America’s preeminent lifestyle retailers. Offering a thoughtfully curated mix of unique examples of authentic American heritage, embracing the spirit of creativity and fostering individuality and independent expression, in a classic style. #heritagespirit


Farmhouse Pottery Yellowware Collection

A modern take on an American classic, each decorative white band is hand painted by master potters at Farmhouse Pottery on their new Yellowware Collection. Bowls and pitchers perfect for serving, baking or as decoration, beautiful and functional as they are timeless. Farmhouse Pottery handmade pieces are household essentials that bring pleasure to everyday utility. Wares tastefully crafted in a neutral palette that appeals to The Artful Blog aesthetic, so that food and flowers are the center of attention, with no distraction. Handmade in Vermont by New England natives and Farmhouse Pottery founders Zoe and James Zilian, who have created a welcoming home pottery studio, workshop, and store with a modern farm aesthetic that represents farm-to-table values infused in traditionally crafted designs with authenticity and character. #classiccraft


Naturopathica Soothing Balance Fortified Honey

Naturopathica’s Wildflower Honey -a staple of the 19th century herbal medicine chest, is infused with Passionflower, Chamomile, Lavender and Rose Blossoms, ancient medicinal herbs prized for their ability to relax and soothe symptoms of anxiety, calm the nerves and rebalance the mind. Enjoy a spoonful daily right out of the bottle or add to beverage or drizzle over oatmeal or toast to nourish the body. From Naturopathica‘s new Herbal Remedies Collection, using the restorative powers of plants to bring wellness full circle, working with the body’s natural processes to promote skin radiance, relieve stress, restore sore muscles and enhance vitality. Crafted by Naturopathica founder Barbara Close, wellness innovator, author, educator, and lifelong practitioner of the healing arts with a Master’s degree in Therapeutic Herbalism. The lovely Naturopathica East Hampton Healing Arts Center & Spa was founded in 1995, where Close began developing products and rituals that empower well-being, establishing Naturopathica as a trusted resource and leader in the 21st century wellness industry. #wellnesswisdom


Big Picture Farm Goat Milk Caramels

Started in 2010 by Louisa Conrad and Lucas Farrell, Big Picture Farm is a small hillside Goat dairy and farmstead confectionery and creamery located in southern Vermont. Their award-winning Goat Milk Caramels and farmstead cheeses are made with fresh, raw, creamy Goat’s milk from their herd of 40 healthy and happy, free-ranging companions. An Animal-Welfare-Approved farm, the health and happiness of their animals is the center around which the farm and farm products revolve. Their mission is also to integrate agriculture and narrative in a fresh way that properly evokes the place, animals, and work in order to bring to life the exciting and unpredictable evolution of their products, farm, and lives. The goal is spelled out in their name: to provide customers with the rich context surrounding their products “the big picture.” Louisa Conrad remains simultaneously entrenched in a parallel career as a photographer and illustrator, marrying art chores with daily farm chores in an effort to generate a living archive of the farm over the course of its life. #fabulousfarmlife


Coral & Tusk Table Linens & Decor

Founded in 2007 by Stephanie Housley together with her husband Chris Lacinak, Coral & Tusk designs –The Artful Blog’s favorite textiles, are inspired by a love of animals, travel and adventure. First enchanted by the natural world during childhood trips to the Eastern seaboard, Stephanie’s frequent travels now span the globe. Magical experiences everywhere from Wyoming to Nepal inform the imagery and humor behind Coral & Tusk’s designs. A RISD-trained textile designer, she first creates her cheeky scenes and irreverent characters as original pencil drawings before she painstakingly redraws them stitch by stitch using special computer software. Finished by hand in Coral and Tusk’s Brooklyn loft, every machine-embroidered pillow, table linen, and artwork retains the story-telling spirit and hand-drawn allure of the original illustration. A mix of smart design, magic and mischief is at the heart of every Coral & Tusk embroidery. #naturalworldwhimsy


The Wreath Recipe Book

The Wreath Recipe Book: Year-Round Wreaths, Swags, and Other Decorations to Make with Seasonal Branches by Alethea Harampolis & Jill Rizzo. From the women behind San Francisco’s beautiful boutique flower shop Studio Choo and authors of the widely popular Flower Recipe Book, and in the same successful format, The Wreath Recipe Book provides 100 “recipes” to make with flowering and leafy branches. The book is organized seasonally, with dozens of projects to make throughout the year. In the Fall, wreaths are created with magnolias, rosemary, and pears, and gourds are used to create an unexpected garland. Winter highlights cedar, pine, and juniper, yielding unexpected table settings and unique wreath shapes. There are detailed ingredient lists and hundreds of step-by-step photos as well as chapters covering basic techniques, sourcing, and care information. #artofhandmade


Pitcher Inn Warren Vermont

The Pitcher Inn, a Relais & Châteaux member since 1997, is about as country chic as it can get full Fall foliage in all its glory. This luxurious gem is the sister property to Winvian Farm in Litchfield County Connecticut. The Pitcher Inn sits in a beautiful spot, offering relaxed refinement in the heart of a romantic Vermont village, surrounded by the Green Mountain National Forest and the Mad River Valley. A delightfully elegant hotel in which each room has a Vermont theme yet designed and decorated to be distinctly different. Intellectual curiosity is celebrated here, as is culinary excellence, with a delicious menu influenced by French and Italian cuisine. Set in the framing of a magical rustic barn, the eight rooms and two suites decorated by 14 different designers, feature everything from vintage resort signs to antique skis, which helps to bring Pitcher Inn history to life, in New England style. #countrychic

Savor Summer


Enjoying warm sunny days in the mountains, parks, tall grass & the garden, wandering around town & the farmer’s market, enjoying a picnic on the lawn & outdoor music festivals, reading a good book under a favorite shady tree, hikes, bikes, tennis and treehouses, sunrise & sunset walks, patio brunches & barbeques, chilling poolside & lakeside, strolling along sandy beaches. Soaking up some vitamin D and fresh air is a daily requirement and a gift from nature for the next couple months. Self-care should include ample amounts of relaxation and replenishment. And a languid sensibility. Here are The Artful Blog’s curated Summer essentials to make all of the above that much more enjoyable. This is Summer.


Theory Light Crepe Jacket, Crisp whites + faded denim + strappy neutral heels = instant Summer chic. Sleek pieces with clean silhouettes that can be worked into any woman’s existing wardrobe, defines Theory. The American company founded in New York, that first launched the visionary principle of designing classic styles with the finest stretch fabrics like lycra, creating comfortable fluid shapes with great definition and retention. Perennially cool collections with a point of view and a nod to bygone eras fine couture techniquesfor the modern fashion-savvy woman. #lookingsmartinwhite


NUXE Prodigieux le Parfum, Relaxed and exotic, this sensuous fragrance is born from the legendary appeal of Nuxe’s Huile Prodigieuse, the bestselling divinely scented multipurpose dry oil. This fragranced concentrate from the Parisian natural beauty brand NUXE, offers delicious notes faithful to those found in the oil, a feminine blend of sunshine and warm sand. A joyful opening of plush White Orange Blossom creates the first impression, its petals tinged with zesty Bergamot and Tangerine. In the heart, a delightful solar bouquet reigns, before a subtle dry down of Vanilla and Coconut Milk that lingers seductively on the skin. Similar in some respects to the now iconic summery scent ‘Beach’ from Bobbie Brown, which I adore. While Beach is more California and Cape Cod, Prodigieux has an Almani Coast and the South of France allure. #smellslikesunshine


Nava Zahavi Calypso Bracelet, An artful statement piece is best worn with simple classic clothing in terms of balance, and for Summer, I’m a true fan of unique, mixed gemstone bracelets dressed up or down. They absorb and reflect light, promote good vibes, and create a soulful sparkle and point of interest. This beautifully crafted bracelet by one of my favorite jewelry artists, Nava Zahavi  -whose designs reinterpret the adornments of ancient civilizations with a contemporary feel, weaves a vibrant gathering of mixed gemstones, Chrysoprase, Iolite, Aquamarine, Ruby, Peridot, Prehnite, Green Onyx and Gold, that evokes sea, sky and sand, brilliantly. Handcrafted exclusively for Sundance -the place to discover custom artisan jewelry at its finest. #artfulgems


Infusion Fibers Mountain Day Sack, Larger than it seems, this day sack was made to easily carry the day’s necessities without feeling huge and bulky. Made with sturdy, mid-weight Cinnamon Brown cotton canvas, and lined with Khaki organic cotton canvas, with hand cut, hand stained leather details, it’s the perfect Summer accessory for day trips and travel. It’s got a place for everything with zipper pockets and a full width pouch under the flap. The Infusion Fibers collection of hand designed, hand sewn, high quality, natural fiber, textile work is carefully constructed, from start to finish by artist Abby Meadow in her home studio on the Oregon coast. Durable and long-lasting items that are both functional and beautiful, using natural, organic, sustainable and recycled fibers and fabrics. #havebagwilltravel


Honey Girl Organics Super Skin Food, Honey Girl Organics are made with USDA Certified Organic Honey of Bees fed on the sun-kissed tropical flowers on the north shore of Oahu. This rich and nourishing Super Skin Food is the purest formula for soothing and repairing Summer skin issues such as irritation, dryness, burns, eczema and psoriasis. An incredibly healing and potent cream that includes Pollen & PropolisRoyal Jelly and Vitamin E to deeply penetrate and become usable nutrition for the skin, for the best regeneration possible. Handmade in small batches in Hawaii Honey Girl Organics products are non-GMO, cruelty free, gluten free and Bee-Friendly! They contain no artificial preservatives, fragrances, additives or fillers, no parabens, petroleum products, hormones, silicons, or chemicals of any kind. Hive ingredients are harvested from holistically managed beehives. #givebeesachance


Baskets by Debi Wood Market Basket, Simply fabulous way to tote produce for two reasons: First, it’s deep and sturdy and second, it conjures up images of farms and picnics and gardens brimming with plants. This woven basket is cut on a scroll saw from a ¾ inch Maple board and sealed with food safe linseed oil to protect the wood, and lined. The cutting technique yields an unusual design, as each basket is handmade, no two are exactly alike in shape and color. Baskets by Debi started down in a humble basement in Pennsylvania doing some casual woodworking and crafts. Her friends immediately loved them and encouraged her to make more and, over time, her household hobby turned into a small family business that produces baskets lovely enough to carry everywhere for that Summer in the country feel. #oldschoolstyle


Living Libations Everybody Loves The Sunshine, Every Summer protecting my skin from sunburn, premature wrinkles and skin cancer is always a huge concern because I have sensitive fair skin. But just as I have to play it smart with sun exposure, I also have to be smart about what sunscreen I use. This nourishing and protective, organic & wildcrafted, Living Libations formula uses the rich oils of the desert Jojoba plant, virgin Coco-Creme, Red Raspberry Seed Oil, Seabuckthorn Berry Oil, Tamanu Berry & essential oils of Schizandra Berry, Immortelle, Carrot Seed, Rose Otto, Cape-Chamomile, Frankincense, Sandalwood, Ginger, Lavender, Turmeric, Calendula and Palmarosa as a cooling canopy. Formula also available with un-coated Zinc Oxide to reflect the sun’s rays, rather than absorb them. Finally a really pure option for those sunny days of play! Living Libations is an exquisite line for those seeking the purest of the pure botanical health & beauty products on the planet. One of the best things about their philosophy, is to practice legitimate labeling by putting the ingredients list right on the front of the bottle as an invitation to be read. #knowyoursource


Rebecca May Verrill Ceramics, Handcrafted small-batch ceramics are everywhere these days. And for good reason. There is beauty in imperfection and having something made of the hand is so special, it inherently adds soul and dimension within a space. The giant of the new ceramics movement is of course Heath Ceramics of Sausalito. The husband-and-wife designer team who in 2003 built upon the brand by editing collections of dinnerware, decorative objects and tile, and introduced artist collaborations while maintaining a focus on handcrafted production. Currently I am entirely smitten with the botanically-inspired work of MFA ceramicist Rebecca May Verrill who oversees the design process from start to finish in her Maine studio. Crafting pieces formed on the potters wheel with earthenware, often altered and low fired in an electric kiln. Contemporary ceramics inspired by organic plant life that employ a variety of layered surface design techniques, beautifully. Wonderful complement to any Summer garden table in celebration of the elegance and simplicity of the natural landscape. #nothinglikehandmade


Lacoste LT12 Tennis Racket, It’s just not Summer in New England without the phrase “tennis anyone.” Inspired by René Lacoste and the musketeers, who believed that true victory was to remain elegant whatever the effort. Calling on both the brand’s historical know-how and specialised expertise, the iconic French founder of the polo shirt, Lacoste launches the LT12 reinventing the traditional racket by combining wood and graphite for the first time. With this rare object, engineered by aeronautics researchers, merging the qualities of wood with the technology of graphite for comfort and power, Lacoste shares a unique vision of tennis and sport. #artoftennis


Faber-Castell 9000 Limited Edition Set, Great time of year to purchase a brand new set of pencils to take along as travel companion to make any journey artworthy and write on! A genuinely classic pencil, launched by Count Alexander von Faber-Castell in 1905, Castell 9000 is a first-class pencil in highest artists’ quality. Its quality and finely graduated degrees of hardness have made it a firm favorite with artists and illustrators. Its lead is fully bonded with the wood surround and is therefore particularly break-resistant. Available in 16 different degrees of hardness, making it the ideal pencil for all technical and artistic applications. The Faber-Castell 9000 Limited Edition Set includes all 16 degrees of hardness of Castell 9000 pencils, 5 degrees of hardness of Castell 9000 Jumbo pencils (HB, 2B, 4B, 6B, 8B) and some essential accessories. #documentthejourney


Essential Oils Every Day by Hope Gillerman, Recently released from Hope Gillerman, founder of H. Gillerman Organics, comes the ultimate guide to the fundamentals of one of our most ancient and aromatic healing tools, essential oils -nature’s most concentrated plant medicines. Fragrant and wonderfully sensual, one hundred times more concentrated than dried herbs, essential oils are the ultimate in luxurious natural self-care. Pairing pleasure with potent healing, essential oils have been a therapeutic treatment of choice for thousands of years, from ancient Egyptian rituals to Chinese medicine, Ayurvedic treatments, and Aromatherapy. With passion and unparalleled expertise, Hope takes readers on a lively tour through the science and history of essential oils. Carefully culling the hundreds of oils out there to introduce readers to the forty truly must-have oils for home use, from Lavender to Jasmine and Eucalyptus, she provides clear, quick, and easy-to-follow techniques for integrating them into daily life. #healingmentorship


Outdoor Art: Extraordinary Sculpture Parks and Art In Nature, by Silvia Langen, From Edward James’s surreal sculpture garden Las Pozas in Mexico to Anselm Kiefer’s sprawling studio complex in the French countryside, artists and art collectors are creating outdoor spaces in order to display sculpture and art that is both transformative and powerful. This book is filled with breathtaking photographs of 25 of these spaces from throughout the world to explore. Captured in brilliant color, these spaces are populated by works that both enhance and are enhanced by the landscape: rolling hills, mountain lakes, shaded canyons, and empty deserts. Each park’s concept is based on a unique theme or idea, and some of these spaces invite contemplation both spiritual and scientific, while others blend horticultural elements with manmade objects, like the Storm King Art Center in the Hudson Valley. As large-scale works grow in popularity, these collections -built and designed by entrepreneurs, landscape architects, environmentalists, artists, and garden experts, demonstrate the endless possibilities of displaying art in nature’s realm. Lovers of art, landscape design, and travel will treasure this enchanting excursion into the world’s most impressive outdoor museums. #artmeetssky


The Cognoscenti’s Guide to Florence, by Louise Fili & Apatoff, Daydreams of romantic encounters, unparalleled cuisine and remnants of ancient history continue to attract tourists to Italy, one of Europe’s most inviting travel destinations, especially in the Summer. Whether it’s about the art, food or architecture, each one of Italy’s most visited places has its own story of rich culture and history. My personal favorite is Florence, the capital city of the Tuscany region, one of Italy’s most important Renaissance architectural and art centers. This is the ultimate pocket-sized guide to the best of the magnificent Tuscan city known for its art, culture, and cuisine. Shop and eat like a Florentine. Here celebrated graphic designer and self-described Italophile Louise Fili, with connoisseur of all things Lisa Apatoff, takes you on eight walks through Florence, discussing more than seventy of the city’s most alluring shops -some run by the same families for generations, others offering young entrepreneurs’ fresh interpretations of traditional techniques. Discerning travelers will discover rare books and charming hats, vintage Pucci and handmade shoes, bolts of rich silk fabric, and the best chocolates in town, in this enchanting introduction to makers and purveyors of clothing, home decor, accessories, specialty foods, and much more. For each shop, there is a full-color photo, description of specialties, and information on location and hours of operation. #bravissima


Winvian Farm, One of my favorite escapes at the base of the Berkshires in Litchfield County, is the choose your own adventure 113-acre wooded resort Winvian Farm. Where a gracious 1775 manor stands at the heart surrounded by 18 luxury cottages created by 15 well-known architects, each inspired by a different theme. Curl up by a roaring fire in rustic Beaver Lodge. Stargaze through the aluminum-and-glass skylights of modern Greenhouse. Climb the 35-foot staircase into throwback Treehouse, a childhood fantasy writ large. Enjoy state-of-the-art facilities at the luxury spa, a quiet sanctuary of light and space. Winvian also recently added a working organic farm onsite, tightening the distance between seed-to-table at their award-winning restaurant. The expansive grounds are primed for lawn games such as bocce and croquet, and mountain biking, kayaking and horseback riding adventures. Another perk, pets welcome. A place where simplicity and indulgence artfully converge. #trulyuniquegetaway


So bring on the sun, functional fare and fashionable summer wear, and fun! The Artful Blog is taking a Savor Summer blogcation till Fall. Enjoy the season whether it involves an adventurous trek through greener pastures or a relaxing staycation. And if still in need of some good Summer reading material, you can always read the archives. #flowerpower

Silk Road Ensemble


Documentary The Music of Strangers: Yo-Yo Ma & the Silk Road Ensemble, is the latest film from the creators of the Oscar-winning documentary 20 Feet from Stardom, which follows members of the Silk Road Ensemble as they gather in locations across the world, exploring the ways art can both preserve traditions and shape cultural evolution. Changing the world through music. In select theaters now. #artinaction

Trailer for The Music of Strangers: Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble, 2016, Presented by the Silk Road Project in association with Participant Media, The Orchard & HBO.

Blending performance footage, personal interviews, and archival film, director Morgan Neville and producer Caitrin Rogers focus on the personal journeys of a small group of the Silk Road Ensemble mainstays: Kinan Azmeh (Syria), Kayhan Kalhor (Iran), Yo-Yo Ma (France/United States), Wu Man (China), and Cristina Pato (Spain), to chronicle passion, talent, and sacrifice. Through these moving individual stories, the filmmakers paint a vivid portrait of a bold musical experiment and a global search for the ties that bind. #powerofmusic


Companion Album, The new album from Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble, “Sing Me Home,” is a deeply moving global tribute to the ‘music of home.’ It features guest artists Abigail Washburn, Bill Frisell, Gregory Porter, Lisa Fischer, Rhiannon Giddens, and Sarah Jarosz.


Inspired by the exchange of ideas and traditions along the historical Silk Road, cellist Yo-Yo Ma established Silkroad in 1998 to explore how the arts can advance global understanding. Silkroad works to connect the world through the arts, focusing its efforts in three areas: musical performance, learning programs, and cultural entrepreneurship.

Since 2000, the musicians of the Silk Road Ensemble have been central to Silkroad’s mission. Under the artistic direction of Yo-Yo Ma and representing a global array of cultures, the Ensemble models new forms of cultural exchange through performances, workshops, and residencies. The artists of the Ensemble draw on the rich tapestry of traditions from around the world that make up our many-layered contemporary identities, weaving together the foreign and familiar to create a new musical language.

If you want to change the world, you have to make a little noise. Join them.

Transitional Object


The Roof Garden Commission: Cornelia Parker, Transitional Object (PsychoBarn), 2016, Installation view at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

A large-scale sculpture by acclaimed English artist Cornelia Parker, inspired by the paintings of Edward Hopper and by two emblems of American architecture -the classic Red barn and the Bates family’s sinister mansion from Alfred Hitchcock’s 1960 film Psycho, “Transitional Object,” whose title borrows a psychological term for things like stuffed animals, security blankets, and such, comprises the fourth annual installation of site-specific works commissioned for The Met’s Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Roof Garden.

Nearly 30 feet high, the sculpture is fabricated from a deconstructed Red barn and seems at first to be a genuine house, but is in fact a scaled-down structure consisting of two facades propped up from behind with scaffolding. Simultaneously authentic and illusory, Transitional Object (PsychoBarn) evokes the psychological associations embedded in architectural spaces. It is set atop The Met, high above Central Park -providing an unusual contrast to the Manhattan skyline. Parker has modestly called her sculpture, which is visible from pathways in Central Park, “an incongruous object.” “Combining a deliciously subversive mix of inferences, ranging from innocent domesticity to horror, from the authenticity of landscape to the artifice of a film set, Cornelia’s installation expresses perfectly her ability to transform clichés to beguile both eye and mind” says The Met’s British curator Beatrice Galilee. On view at The Metropolitan Museum of Art New York through 31 October, 2016.


For some years, sculptor & installation artist Cornelia Parker’s work has been concerned with formalizing things beyond our control, containing the volatile and making it into something that is quiet and contemplative like the ‘eye of the storm.’ Through a combination of visual and verbal allusions her work triggers cultural metaphors and personal associations which allow the viewer to witness the transformation of the most ordinary objects into something compelling and extraordinary.