Gina Alvarez, Robert Goetz Box
by Julia Gordon-Bramer
I tried to tame the beggar, reign in
his tom-cat journeying blindly off the cliff.
I tried to bind the boundless,
but the wild would rather rattle and stab
half a bloody broken leg into the ground
than to live a day in a cage.
Gina Alvarez & Robert Goetz
We have both interpreted poetry through art and the project seemed like a perfect fit for us as we are both versed in materials and have a love of poetry. The Stray speaks about the magnetism of freedom and the sacrifices we make for it. We also have cats and totally responded to their independent nature, their quiet battle to leave the safe and contained life of the home.
I (Gina) have a set of glass bubbles fabricated for a previous project and wanted to work with them again. In the context of the poem, glass is used as a signifier of containment or separation between the worlds of containment and freedom. Through my art and family history, I have a personal connection to terrariums, messages in a bottle, dioramas and sketch book imagery. This format fit perfect for a diarama in glass, suggesting a glance through the window, pointing to inner turmoil. A cat is suggested as the subject of the poem and it’s quiet rage is a formidable quality Robert and I appreciate.
Location was important. Gina and I (Robert) visited the site, took our tape measure and responded to the tree line in front of the store row. We knew we wanted sunlight and glass to be a prominent material and the trees offered an anchor point in which to suspend it. I responded to the idea of suspending the glass bubble in the trees and we talked about ways to do this. I really wanted to investigate making a craddle out of rope so we went through a few variations until we decided to go with a thin climbing leader rope. We struggled with achieving a sense of lightness and floating and gradually made the craddle out of thinner and thinner material.