Sacred White Sculpture, 2013
Plywood, Mahogany, teak, bamboo, fiberglas, epoxy resin, Dacron, Nylon, polyurethane topside paint, cleats, blocks, plastic, stainless steel, brass
240” x 130” x 264” (610 x 330 x 760.5 cm)
Between August 2012- April 2013 I constructed a 22 ft. (6.7m) Proa (a Polynesian styled outrigger sailing canoe) at the University of California, Irvine. Unutea--the name I gave the vessel--means Sacred White Sculpture in Tahitian. My Proa is fashioned after the mid-sized island hopping Proa's of the Marshall Islands and also mixed with traits of other Polynesian Proas.
Sacred White Sculpture was exhibited at the University Art Gallery, Irvine, April 25 - May 10, 2013. The installation consisted of Unutea in the main exhibition space and a constellation of drawings, paintings and handmade, wooden oars in the adjacent exhibition room.
Upon the closing of the exhibition, Unutea was transported to the Newport Aquatic Centre, Newport Beach, where I spent a month tuning the rigging and conducting short test in the harbor. On June 13, 2013, Hawaiian elder Thomas Kalama lead a traditional canoe blessing ceremony preceding the maiden voyage of Unutea to Dana Point.
Distance: 14 Nautical miles (16 miles)
Temperature: 73 °F (22 °C)
Visibility: 10 miles (16 km)
Wind speed: 9-10.5 knots 10-12mph
Top cruising speed 9 knots (10.36 miles/16.67 km).
June 24 - July 12, documentation of the ceremony and voyage were exhibited at ForYourArt, Los Angeles.
* Forthcoming future voyage and comprehensive publication.
** Special thanks and endless gratitude to Billy Whitford and everyone at the NAC, Dolph Gabeler, Mo Morrow, Natalie Kovacs, Kat Hamrock, Jason Stepina, Sophie Oda, Minney's Yacht Surplus, and many others who made this project possible.
Sacred White Sculpture blog: www.unutea.wordpress.com