Monday, July 18, 2011

The Balloon Seller

"Who will buy this wonderful morning?
Such a sky you never did see!
Who will tie it up with a ribbon,
and put it in a box for me?"

We've often written of the beautiful work that paper artist Anandamayi Arnold does for others--the classes she teaches at Castle in the Air or the surprise balls she makes for The Tail of the Yak--but last month she unveiled a project she'd done solely for herself.

Anandamayi was part of The Cries of San Francisco, an event which brought more than sixty artists out from their studios and into the streets of San Francisco, where each of them took on the role of a historic street vendor. Of course, everyone who participated did so with a great deal of artistic license, and the result was a madcap spectacle. We met an insect-antennae headdress seller, a composer of love poems and letters of recommendation, a weaver giving away crowns made from gleaned olive branches, and dozens of other wonder-workers.

For her part, Anandamayi portrayed The Balloon Seller, dressing herself in 18th century garb made entirely of crepe paper, from the top of her bonnet to the tips of her shoes. She sold miniature flying balloons inflated from a helium-tank goat of her own design, and also offered paper aeronauts to pilot the balloons and pamphlets on the French ballooning craze of 1783.

It's not in Anandamayi's nature to make anything that doesn't raise everyone's spirits with its beauty and simple perfection, but The Balloon Seller really made our spirit soar because out of all of Anandamayi's art, this project was so joyous and over the top. Three cheers for flights of fancy come to life!


Marfi-topia said...

that's incredibly inspiring!

Susan Krzywicki said...

That is the sort of event I would love to have participated in. It gets my creative energy flowing. Thanks for sharing. My field is gardening and I am now going to see how this can overlap...

Serena said...

Love the shoes. Anandamayi never ceases to amaze!

ullam said...

So wonderful to see the final result!