I’m Jonee Brigham, and Full Spring Studio, LLC in Maplewood, Minnesota is where I make art that explores the connection and flow between people and the rest of nature. In artists books, installations, and public art, I use story or a sequence of events and often mix words and poetry with images, or in the case of public art – participatory actions. I believe infrastructure, such as power lines and water mains, tells a story of how our daily lives are interconnected with nature — whether from a sink through pipes to the river, or from a light switch, through wires, to the sky. In artists books I combine poetry, photography, and collage, to create an experience that unfolds within the familiar book form. In participatory public art, I create rituals, that I document and together the activities and the documentation form the impression of the
A major area of my current work is the intersection of art and environmental education, in a practice called Earth Systems Journey. Earth Systems Journey is a curriculum framework for art-led, experiential, place-based environmental education about environmental flows, (such as water, air, energy or material) through a school building and grounds. This model was incubated in a project called: Downstream/Upstream: A Journey Through the Urban Water Cycle, which began on May 31, 2011, when 39 children, ages 4 to 6, began a journey from their school in Little Canada through the urban water cycle following the water infrastructure that connects the Mississippi River to their sink. Since then, I’ve conducted Earth Systems Journeys at a high school, elementary classes, summer camps, and a teacher training. For more about Earth Systems Journey or to explore using its services, please see the website, www.EarthSystemsJourney.com
Public art includes sculptural projects like the walk-in Children’s Nest Egg, and participatory public art projects such as River-Wash at Little Mekong, a water healing ritual along University Avenue, or Aqua per Capita, a collaborative outdoor water play and theatrical event exploring the relationship of population, to water use, and carrying capacity in Bloomington.
I also work in multimedia studio art and artists books. Power Contemplations is a series in progress that includes sculptural works, installations, and writing about our relationship to electricity. I have several artists books in progress such as 29 Days: A Journal of Moon Meditations that follows paintings of a month of moon phases, and Blowdown, which examines the altered landscapes after the heavy storms in the Twin Cities in summer, 2013.
Full Spring Flow, a blog for Full Spring Studio, gives a glimpse into these and other projects in process, and I welcome your feedback.
Jonee Kulman Brigham