R-Evolution Has Begun!

I have been writing about The Bliss Project, created by artist Marco Cochrane and his crew, since 2010. The project includes three sculptures intended to demand a change in perspective … to be catalysts for social change. They are intended to challenge the viewer to see past the sexual charge that has developed around the female body — which has been used for power and control — to see the human being. They are intended to de-objectify women and inspire people to take action to end violence against women, thus allowing everyone to live fully and thrive.

The Pantograph – a medieval-era enlargement tool
The Pantograph – a medieval-era enlargement tool (Photo by Jay R Houghton)

I had never seen sculpture being created like I did when I was there to see them assembling Bliss Dance for the first time. Bliss Dance pushes the limits of scale and engineering, and is as ambitious as she is breathtaking. So I loved watching the crew’s precision and grace as they assembled this incredible sculpture. They acted together on the assumption that it would all fit together once they got it to Black Rock City.

In 2013 I was lucky to be in the Bliss Dance Studio the day they were lighting up Truth is Beauty, the second sculpture in the series.

R-Evolution is the third and final sculpture in the series. R-Evolution continues with the theme of a woman expressing her humanity. At 48-feet tall, R-Evolution will debut at Burning Man 2015. When I visited the studio in 2014, Marco and Deja (the model for all three sculptures) were there. Marco used a Pantograph — a medieval-era enlargement tool — to create a 15-foot clay version of R-Evolution by hand from a ¾ life-size original, using classical sculpting techniques.

Welding R-Evolution (Photo by Jay R Houghton)
Welding R-Evolution (Photo by Jay R Houghton)

The next step was to begin the second phase enlargement to her final metal form — the metalwork for the second half of R-Evolution is well underway. They need to complete the sculpture; paint her for rust protection; design, build and install the lighting; place the mesh skin and construct the base — all before Burning Man 2015. And you probably already know that the Man burns in 137 days.

If you’d like to follow along and watch the progress of R-Evolution check out her Facebook Page.