Lofty Aspirations

Lofty Aspirations

Western Washington University, Viking Union

Permanent Installation

Lofty Aspirations

Seiko A. Purdue & Cara Jaye

2010, abaca fiber, indigo dye, wire cloth, plaster, fabric, paper clay, methyl cellulose, and readymade plastic toys

Photo: David Scherrer

Lofty Aspirations is a community-based artwork that examines ideas of personal goals and aspirations within a cloudscape formation. It consists of 26 hand-constructed paper relief pieces that are gradually expanding cloud formations covered with indigo dyed paper. In this piece we collected over 1,000 aspirations from people of all ages and stages in life, from children as young as age two to senior citizens. These blue slips of handmade and dyed paper with the written responses were then applied onto the surface of the cloud formations. Participants were asked “what they wanted to be when they grew up”, or what goals they have in their life. We collected aspirations from a diverse range of faculty, staff and students on Western’s campus and other off-campus communities. We also collected and embedded into the sculpture toys or other significant items that relate to the aspirations. This piece hopes to invoke themes of future possibility and what one can accomplish with work, vision, goals, and a bit of inspiration. It encourages pondering individual potential, cloud spotting, dreaming about the future, and looking for forms and imagery in the clouds. The Viking Union is a gathering site of the entire campus community, and a dynamic and diverse place for interaction.  We wanted to celebrate the Viking Union’s 50th Anniversary by connecting human relationships through the collective dreams of everyone who participated in the project. 

Click on the thumbnails below to see the process for this work: