Project: Külakiik - The Village Swing
Location: Gays Mills, WI
Constructed while at ACRE Residency in Steuben, WI (July 18-29, 2012)
The word “Külakiik” translates from Estonian to English as “Village Swing”, and means exactly that. It is a large, wooden, multi-person swing – fitting anywhere from two to eight (and often more) people at a time. This type of swing is a traditional Estonian structure and well-known pastime that harkens back to Estonian’s pagan roots and appreciation of communal outdoor activities. Due to the country’s far north location, the winters are cold and dark. This harsh environment has led Estonian’s to have a deep gratitude for summer, and the brief period of white nights it brings. The swing offers a platform for interaction as well as an opportunity to be outside together. While travelling through the Estonian countryside, it is not uncommon to regularly come across a Külakiik… and then stop to enjoy it.
While at ACRE this summer, Kristina and Matt will build a village swing identical to those found in Estonia. The ACRE grounds are not able to currently accommodate the project, so this permanent structure will be installed on Annie Coleman’s farm in nearby Gays Mills, WI. Coleman's future plans involve opening a public sculpture park on the land, and this swing will be the first of many sculptures to be built in the coming years. Our mission with the Külakiik is to create a gathering spot that bridges activity, conversation, and sculpture. This is the first of many village swings and other collaborative projects that we plan to undertake. We are asking for your support in order to raise funds towards the cost of building materials and associated fees.
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