copyright2014Hope Sandrow

open air studio (laboratory for experimentation) is sited in “my own backyard”: a 24/7 setting engaged in the creative process (since June 2007). A “home” site to create art and place works investigating timely issues thru interactions with nature and the natural world. A practice without boundaries; a platform for critical discourse about “now”, the “everyday” that engages colleagues and the public, both local to those online the world wide web, in dialogue and collaboration.

“Sometimes when you’re looking for one thing, you find something completely

different and unexpected”. Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

The genesis for open air studio was a Chance Encounter with a white Paduan Cockeral, named Shinnecock for where we met in the Hills. He crossed the road to follow me home, making his in my backyard.

Sited along the North Atlantic Migratory Flyway, where nomadic indigenous peoples roamed freely twelve thousand years ago. More recently the site of disputed land ownership by Shinnecock Indian Nation. Where the carriage/gatehouse that Ulf Skogsbergh, my husband who is also artist and musician, and I live and work. It was built on the E.Benedoit Colt Estate (1893-1938) renowned for specimen gardens; visitors including Ethel Barrymore; and plein air artist William Merritt Chase who painted and lived nearby.

As in Chase’s time when effects of the industrial revolution were visible:  land use, conservation and preservation are apropos to community as well as global dialogue. The impact of climate change is investigated here, in part

because this site has been shaped as habitat for Shinnecock, the muse for this study, and his Flock living amidst native songbirds and crows in now wooded lands.

 The Flock’s birth rate illustrates the impact.  In 2011, unprecedented heat during breeding season resulted in only ten chicks emerging from eggshells set on by nine Hens. In March 2012, the Flock adapted by beginning breeding two months earlier than as usual in May: 39 chicks doubled the Flock’s number.  Again adjusting to conditions on the ground, seven chicks brought to life by Hens setting on eggs, survived, in 2013; four in 2014; two in 2015, six in 2016; none in 2017 nor 2018; one in 2019.

The ensuing dialogue includes issues scientific (i.e. chickens reclassified as avian dinosaurs); cultural (an embryo looks identical to Ambrym Peoples Slit Gongs and Grade Figures); and technological (Happening Live utilizes surveillance equipment to broadcast live) advancements. This study project coexists on multiple layers, displaying relationships between personal and public, the micro and the macro. Such as the process of a hen laying an egg begins with an ova moving through her oviduct, encompassing 24 hours as does the revolution of Earth on its axis. There’s a similar relationship of space and time between a women’s ovulation to that of the moon orbiting the earth.

"...the problem about the egg and the hen, which of them came first, was dragged into our talk, a difficult problem which gives investigators much trouble. And Sulla my comrade said that with a small problem, as with a tool, we were rocking loose a great and heavy one, that of the creation of the world." 
                                                                                                          Plutarch Table Talk, Moralia 120 AD

open air studio spacetime is (November 16, 2017) a fiscally sponsored project of the New York Foundation for the Arts.

February 5, 2013


Shinnecock Hills: Grasses surrounding low lying bushes and trees,  gently rolling hills (1900) recorded in the photograph (right, top)  by Albert Chittenden

of William Merritt Chase with Students of his Shinnecock Hills Summer School of Art. Nearby Chase’s home and studio pictured (left, top) in his oil painting  Shinnecock Landscape, 1895 (photo credit Parrish Art Museum)

(left) I made this photograph from same vantage point as Chase painted when, NOW, his home/studio no longer visible .


1895 - 1900