Wednesday, July 28, 2010

collar progress

The boomerang, a weapon for hunting, and the army guys joined and then got smudged with camo-green. hmmm.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

A new collar piece begins

camouflage has entered the scene...a carry over from the battle yarn project. Go to Sue's Luxury Fiber to see more.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


While I may be adjusting the blacks a bit, I think it is done. The addition of a lightweight handspun mohair took it where it needed to go. The sea creature aspect continues...these seem to be "jelly-fish of memory"? Who knows, it is still a mystery to me. I do think of the threads as memory, connections to the past, to shared histories...

Monday, July 12, 2010

In the flow, with rapids ahead?

I'm not at all sure what these are all about. Zach says this one is kind of scary looking. I agree. It is done now and the Jelly fish/collar/yawning yoni awaits meaning! I know it has to do with memory, femaleness and aging somehow. I have been collecting these collars, real collars, for ages. There is something about their delicacy, their histories, the embroidery and/or lace making, their shapes that captivates me. Most of the collars I am working with were purchased in Northern Minnesota, 2 years ago, when I stayed in Lutsen for a week. This is a detail of the very beginning of the next piece. Yarn and other fiber somehow relates as well....I think as metaphor for memory and female histories. more detail. And then it gets scary to work with as the real collar has been glued in. A commitment has been made to consume the beautiful collar. It is sheer, soft, delicate cotton, worn to near shreds, barely intact. What will happen to it tomorrow?
It is late now and I must stop and relax before bed.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

In the flow

This one is not finished yet. The blacks will be darkened, some whites will be added. This one is called Broken Memory. I'm not thrilled with it, although I like it better in jpg form. This one, completed last night,I am happy with. With this one I am beginning to get a glimmer of the content I am working with. I always work instinctively, driven by materials and some small object or mark to begin. I never see the finished artwork in my mind's eye. I simply begin. But When or Where to begin is always mysterious. It began yesterday afternoon when Zach and I were working on a CSS template together for the gallery. Suddenly I knew I had to begin. I hung large paper and made a yarn-like mark on it and got back to work on the CSS (I learned a lot, by the way.) After dinner the real work began. My hands are gritty, with compressed charcoal ground into the cuticles. I am happy. Several days ago I was wondering if this flow would ever return. Artmaking is so mysterious, a difficult task master/mistress.
So, what am I working with? It seems to me that the issues of memory, aging, nostalgia remain key. All the drawings refer to yarn in some way. Indeed, I am surrounded by it in the studio. As I draw, I think of the deep history of yarn making as functional, needed, mostly women's work. In the New England colonies, households were taxed according to the spinners therein. But here, in the 21st century, I explore handspun yarn as art with a history. In the drawings, it is as though the yarn elements are fragments and arteries of the deep unconscious, of the deep memories we are born with.

Friday, July 9, 2010

yarny drawings

Pastel, compressed charcoal and 4 feet of paper. Whole body drawing. My fingernails are as dirty as though I had been in a Ragdale studio for the day.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Transgressive wool

In the art world, one talks about transgression. Transgression can be loosely defined as breaking expected boundaries or expectations. Yarn is expected to be soft, warm, useful, at times even life saving. It is often associated with leisure, craft and women's work. Rarely is it thought of as an object, a material or a subject of fine art. So, as I progress on this project, I have to consider how this potential body of work transgresses expectations.
This yarn is transgressive because:
• It is not made for the express purpose of knitting or looping in someway into a useful object.
• Its purpose to to be a sculptural object or a field for narrative/political photography.
• It paradoxically uses its traditional softness to express a hard/harsh/violent reality
• It uses its allusions to its life saving properties( warmth, padding, protecting) as a field of discussion about war and death
• It uses a "women's art" to discuss a "man's pursuit."