Salt

In Art, Video by Paul Soupiset

Three years ago, I invited a group of retreat participants to join me in a collaborative art-making project. Complicating matters — this was done with no verbal instruction: we were participating in a contemplative retreat led by Mary Earle, and had taken vows of silence for the day. It ended up being a sublime afternoon full of non-verbal communication and beauty. Here’s a short film I made of it all.

On September 22, 2012, at a contemplative retreat in the Texas hill country, a group of new friends spent 24 hours together in silence. The Salt Project was a simple afternoon invitation to collaborate artistically without rules, instruction or speech, inspired in part by Motoi Yamamoto’s Saltworks. Interested participants arrived at a gazebo and found a few squeeze-bottles full of salt, seasoned salt, coffee, and yellow corn starch — along with some brushes and yardsticks. The three-hour process was filmed with two iPhone cameras. Special thanks to the kitchen staff at Laity Lodge for adding serendipitous color to what was originally conceived as a monochrome project. — p.r.s. 8/22/12

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