imagine enough for everyone

   by Jane Robinette for Build A Dream (2014)

I set out to build something that would represent some personal dreams for my own life, as well as my dream of a community where everyone has "enough." The house, porch, and ground are from the bottom half of the outer box; the piece of hardboard extends the garden area. Glue holds the house shape together and helped form the roof and solar panels (made from the mannequin box). The solar panels are painted strips glued together and covered with a piece of the plastic wrapping from inside the kit. The front window is more of the plastic wrapping glued on the inside of the house.

I employed a screwdriver to dismantle the mannequin into pieces. Needle-nosed pliers, wire cutters, and fingers helped shape the aluminum wire into the words, the people skeletons, the knitting needles, etc. I used scissors to cut the wire mesh and shaped it around a square dowel to create the gutter shape (then applied plaster cloth and paint to the mesh). The main garden is made of wire mesh covered with plaster cloth and paint. I used screws and wires from the mannequin for garden plants (and some are accessorized with clay). Other wooden pieces from the mannequin form the table base (with a wood disc top), the chair base, the garden basket, and the porch pot.

Wire mesh formed the rain barrel shape, then it was covered with plaster cloth and paint, and pieces of cardboard were glued on the top and bottom. I used a paper punch to create the hole on top of the rain barrel, and the downspout is a spring from the mannequin. The house door is outer box cardboard, painted with acrylic, and the doorknob is a mannequin screw with clay over it.

Modeling clay mixed with oil paint form some of the items (mostly garden items, soil, and rocks). Other natural pieces of clay formed garden items (and the outer bodies of people, the chimney, and the hat bowl), and were painted with acrylic paint. The house, roof, panels, paper, etc., were painted with acrylic. The words wire extends down through the chimney and is stuck into a blob of clay sitting on the house floor. I knit some of the nylon cord with size 1 knitting needles and colored it with textile paint.

The wind turbine tower is the Styrofoam rod scraped into shape using an X-acto knife, then covered with plaster cloth wrap, and painted with gesso. The metal rod from the mannequin was placed into the middle of the foam rod, and it extends down into the mannequin base which is now the tower base. The wind turbine blades were formed with aluminum wire, wire mesh, plaster cloth, and gesso. The aluminum wire of the blades was fastened onto a round piece of mannequin which was then inserted into the top of the foam rod. A small piece of modeling clay is stuck on the front center of the blades.

The sea sponge was cut with scissors into a shrubbery shape and colored with acrylic paint. I cut small pieces of cardboard into plant material and chair parts. I created a flexible mold out of blockprint material that I pressed tinted clay into to create the leaf shape/texture for the vining garden plants.

The book and painting on the table are made of cardstock (and acrylic paint on the painting). Prismacolor markers were used on the book and some of the facial features.

My initial inspiration was a theme running through my recent work, "imagine enough for everyone." Why do some of us have too little and some of us have too much? What is enough? What is fair? As I thought about what would be good for everyone, I added elements that reflect my own dream living situation. What kind of world would I like to live in? It is my hope and dream that everyone has enough food, shelter, clothing, energy, space, art and beauty. And if we can imagine it, maybe we can also build a community in which it exists.