Woods. Spectres. Utopia.
Arrows of the Dawn’, references a series of short essays and manifestos published by the Byrdcliffe Colony, which was a failed Utopian community for artists, started at the beginning of the 20th century in Woodstock, New York. While the founders had high hopes of this being a self-sustaining artist colony in tune with the Arts and Crafts movement of the time, the communal spirit cracked as tensions within the ranks grew and two of the three founding members severed ties and started their own art communities within the Hudson Valley. While Byrdcliffe failed as a Utopian vision, over 30 of the original structures still exist and the communal spirit has been revived with some of the buildings being used as an artist residency in the summer. The focus of my project is abstractly based on the story of the under-recognized matriarch of the community, Jane Byrd McCall Whitehead and her relationship to nature, spirituality, and the failed Utopian vision she had for herself and her family.