Katherine Daniels' Tenkenas Sash was a site specific installation constructed of plastic ribbons woven into 8 x 400 feet of chain link fence. Tenkenas Sash was woven into the chain link fence that defines the playing fields 73 and 74 in Ward’s Meadow, Northeast of the Tri-Borough Bridge abutment, at the Southeast edge of Randall's Island. At this site Tenkenas Sash could be seen from inside and outside the ball fields, from the Ward’s Meadow Loop’s park drive, the bike and pedestrian pathway and the riverside lawns, thus engaging a large portion of the Randall’s Island’s community of ball players, bikers, runners, walkers, picnickers, island explorers, art curious and event wanderers.
The ribbons of red, blue, yellow, white and black represented New York City’s five boroughs. Tenkenas Sash brought together the past and present by using Ward’s Island’s original name, Tenkenas (meaning “Wild Lands” in the Algonqian language), and the inspiration of native american weavings in the current built environment of Randall’s Island. The ubiquitous chain link fencing acted as a canvas that transformed the fence into a 400 foot linear drawing. Daniels took her inspiration for the Tenkenas Sash from finger woven sashes and burden straps as well as wampum bead weavings made by Native Americans in the New York State region.
Tenkenas Sash began and ended with tassels of descending and ascending saw tooth shapes made of five colored lines that spanned the distance of the fencing by intertwining, extending, zigzagging, gathering into tessellating clusters then stretching and evolving into a new set of patterns that create a visual rhythm. The design undulated along the fence from high to low with the heaviest ornamentation containing “windows” for looking through the design to the other side. Tenkenas Sash could be seen as a whole from a distance, but it was fundamentally meant to be “art that was walked past” as a piece of visual pleasure in an active environment.
Photo Credit: Electric Zoo photos by Bennett Sell-Kline for ElectricZooFestival.com
Tenkenas Sash is in!
It was great making this piece on Randall's Island.
We worked in the sun and rain for days and loved seeing all the people from school kids to adults on the playing fields
as well as all the other people who were (having picnics, fishing, walking, riding bikes and running) out enjoying the park.
Thank you to Ed, Laurie, Lisa, Laura and Harlan for your help making this piece.
Thank you to the Bronx Museum, Randall's Island Foundation, The Rockelfeller Foundation and Made Event for supporting this project.
The Blue and Yellow ribbons have arrived.
I have been waiting for an order of yellow and blue fence weave to be delivered for weeks and received it last night!
With the white, red and black in place we will get to work with the final two colors on Friday.