Thursday, May 24, 2018

Inspired By Scorsese's Biopic on Dylan, Skye's Art Inspires Others in Duluth

Photo courtesy Michael Anderson
This week, a Door County artist has decorated the Great Hall in the Depot with a project that birthed in her heart and evolved into a passion. Yesterday afternoon her display "Shakespeare's in the Alley," a collection of 45 song panels hand-stenciled with lyrics from the songs of Bob Dylan, was the focus of attention on the fifth day of Duluth Dylan Fest. Around 5:30 those present gathered to hear Skye give a talk about this dramatic presentation.

Skye, a stone sculpture up till this point in her career, said that Martin Scorsese's documentary No Direction Home proved to be the seed that grew into this powerful display. Initially she did research on Dylan, checking out books from the library, and the more she learned the more she recognized in him "an amazing example of just don't stop." During a morning walk she had a vision so to speak of panels unrolling. She felt that to follow through would be a tribute to him as an artist. She would try to make it happen. The first summer, 2011, she did 15 panels. In 2012 she decided to do more.

The creation has been a very personal journey. In 2016 she knew that to publicly share it she would have to ask permission. She did not ask permission sooner because she felt it necessary to execute that which was inside of her. It proved to be a huge relief when Jeff Rosen, Bob Dylan's business manager, replied and said yes.

Skye noted that this was the first time the installation has been displayed outside of Wisconsin and only the third time in all. Because of the special occasion she added the 45th panel, "Girl from the North Country," which is also the title of the play that opened last year in London with 1930's Duluth as its "place."

Skye shared the process by which the panels were created and the materials used: pencil, rulers, tape, fabric markers. The title comes from a line in Dylan's "Stuck Inisde of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again."

There's a Japanese term that means "living national treasure" and she said it applied to Dylan who is himself "a preserver of culutural treasures and creator of them."

"How lucky you are," she said to the Duluthians gathered for her talk. "He was born here." She then read a passage from 11 Outlined Epitaphs which he wrote when he was 22.

The images here are from The Great Hall.

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Related Links
Interview with the Artist Skye
No Direction Home by Martin Scorsese

REMINDER: There will be a birthday cake and music at Bob Dylan's birth home at 3:00 p.m. in front of the yellow duplex at 519 Third Avenue East. Happy Birthday, Bob.

Meantime art goes on all around you. Engage it.

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