To get the semester off to a quick start, I gave a two-week group project to four juniors: Andrew Certo, Eamon DeFabbia-Kane, Morgan Gilbreath and Katey Murphy. Their assignment was a Couch Intervention using the existing couch in Temple Contemporary. The criteria: the Intervention would take place from February 6 – 16; the Gallery Monitor must be able to sit on at least one cushion; and the couch must be able to be moved to accommodate the changing needs of the space due to events/performances/etc.
They came up with a great solution: Grass Couch.
They wrote a brief statement for the piece:
For the Couch Intervention in Temple Contemporary, we wanted to create a piece that had a life of its own, constantly changing over time. By lining the couch cushions with soil and seed, our creation was initially invisible, but slowly germinating and growing. In about a week’s time, the grass began to sprout through the burlap-covered cushions in bright green tufts and is continuing to grow at an alarming speed. The gallery monitor sits on the couch beside the grass, tending to it with a grow light and a watering can. This piece represents the silent, subtle growth that occurs beyond human detection and offers what winter deprives us of: the earthy smell of soil and refreshing sight of green life that revitalizes us all.
Everyone in the gallery loved the idea, and we kept our fingers crossed that the grass would actually have enough time to germinate and grow during the short time span allotted. We were all pretty amazed at how quickly it came to life, with blades of grass sprouting after just a couple of days. The artists continue to document the changes, and at the end of the scheduled installation on the 16th, the Grass Couch will be relocated to the Tyler Glass Studios for a few weeks so that we can continue to enjoy the it while Temple Contemporary starts to build-out for the upcoming solo MFA Exhibitions.
Sincere thanks to Robert Blackson and Sarah Biemiller at Temple Contemporary for giving the students this opportunity!
– Sharyn O’Mara