Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Safari #9: Playing in the Octopus' Garden

Fellow travelers, self-discovery is a splendid thing - especially when you find it in the most unexpected place.  Where, do you say?  Read on.

Let's start this safari with the creative process - an artist's spark.  Media takes this spark and transforms it into a reality.  You interalize the reality and attempt to understand it, process it, and "feel" it.  To your process of internalization, add an island, a map, and wilderness.  Enter the Bumpkin Island Art Encampment.

Every year, artist's take temporary residence on Boston Harbor's Bumpkin Island to create a festive and exploratory environment where you can watch and participate in all of their fantastic creations.  Using media obtained from the island, the artists spend 5 days creating their works and then invite the public to join them for an open viewing.

Last Sunday, I participated for the first time.  Map in hand, I flew into the wilderness in search of installations, artists - and myself.  Every path I chose allowed me to stumble upon something amazing - a hidden tent, secret messages and pathways, and never before seen island creatures.  I even played for a moment in the Octopus' Garden, a recreation of the real 'gardens' that octopi create to navigate the ocean floor.  Playing  in the garden helped my spirit find its way home.

Some helpful tips if you plan to attend next year's installation:
  • The Berwick Research Institute - founders and sponsors of the art installation.  Check their website for details on upcoming events including the dates of the island encampment.
  • The Boston Harbor Islands - find information about Bumpkin including tips on what to bring (and what to avoid - like poison ivy).  There is a leave no trace policy on the island, so whatever you bring in, you must bring out with you.  Ferry information is also available.

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