36.5 / Bass Harbor was a spontaneous poetic gesture that came out of months of contemplation about the parallel between an individual struggle to survive on a daily basis and the struggle for humanity to survive in the face of sea-level rise. 21 other artists witnessed this initial performance.
While in the water in Maine, Sunde realized that this project was the beginning of a series. She made a commitment to herself to do the second iteration exactly six months later and the third iteration exactly one year later. As demonstrated by this completed body of work, this commitment was realized, then grew into something larger than Sunde had ever imagined in this tidal bay in Maine.
Below is a statement / poem from Sunde about her initial experiance creating 36.5 / Bass Harbor and what drove her to create this first spontaneous work:
“On Monday, August 12, 2013,
I was sitting on the rocks by a tidal bay in Maine,
thinking about New York City’s current relationship to water
and the contemporary relationship of art to suffering and sacrifice.
The tide was rising and I marveled at how quickly the environment changed.
Rocks were being swallowed whole.
Oh, the strength of the moon!
My foot was soon underwater and it looked other-worldly.
I imagined a human being in the middle of the bay, water slowly moving upward.
I imagined my own body being swallowed and then the water subsiding, leaving me bare.
It had to be done – this was urgent!
Thursday, August 15 was three days away.
It would be my ½ birthday – an ideal moment to begin this new measurement of time.”
with Barn Arts Collective