Through The Looking Glass

Submitted by Eileen Jager

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Client: Park Hill Orchard

Location: Easthampton, MA, United States

Completion date: 2017

Artwork budget: $9,000

Project Team

Artist

Eileen Jager

Client

Park Hill Orchard

Park Hill Orchard

Frame Shop

Jean Pierre Pasche

Big Red Frame

Overview

Outdoor sculpture park, site specific installation. “Through The Looking Glass” is fabricated from wood, mirror and paint, and hangs between two pear trees in an orchard. A series of 7 unique frames are joined together to make a whole. One side is painted rainbow colors, the other is covered in reflective mirror. The middle, “picture” part of the frame has a horizon line running through it. This creates the experience of clear and obscured viewing of the same thing, at the same time.
It transforms the existing space into a magical experience! 16’x4’x1”

Goals

Art In The Orchard is a bi-annual event committed to bringing art into unusual places. My installation was part of a larger sculpture park featuring work by 33 artists in all media. The orchard plays an active part in our local cultural economy. With meaningful support and encouragement from the Easthampton City government, Easthampton and Massachusettes Cultural Councils, local business donors and supporters, we are able to gather in this stunning setting to view Easthampton in a new perspective.

“Through The Looking Glass is about frames of reference, where are we looking from, and how to look beyond what is known to what is possible. Both the piece and the event are a huge success. It’s a pleasure and a privilege to be part of the cultural renaissance that my small city is experiencing.

Once an abandoned mill town Easthampton is now a destination for the arts. This event has drawn over 35,000 viewers who come back repeatedly with friends, family and picnics. Additional events such as music, storytelling, puppetry and theater bring the orchards alive with visual and performing arts.

Process

As an artist I had free reign to create something unique for the orchard that could withstand being outside in the elements for 4 months and 35,000 visitors. I collaborated with the orchards caretakers to select the best place for my installation where it could be easily seen and engaged with. It creates an experience of framing the art that lies beyond, while reflecting the art that is behind it. Our local frame shop made the frames which I painted, covered with mirror and installed in sections with the help of tree climbers.

Additional Information

“Through The Looking Glass” is a conceptual and experiential installation. It’s a way of engaging with how we look at the world and what it is to experience divergent realities - present, future, past - at the same time. It questions how and what we see and where are we looking from? Are we looking from love or fear, abundance or scarcity, empowerment or victimization, gratitude or judgement? It’s an invitation to see the beauty within and around us in new ways, and a call to rise to meet the challenges of life from our highest self.