Friday, November 30, 2012

A new quest has begun...

The studio is as chaotic as it usually is these days.  I am framing, wrapping, storing, moving among contractors as the re-modeling comes near to a close. Transition is still the the word of the day.

Amid it all, I applied for a grant, but did not win it.  So be it.  I carry on.  My goal remains.  It is to make another oversized dress (ultimately more than one) from unbleached muslin, with a small bodice, overly long noodle-sleeves.  The bodice and sleeves will be heavily embroidered with lace images. The skirt(s) of the dress(es) will tell the story.

Fashioning narrative: engendered stories

It all began with old, worn white dresses.

The dresses hover like ghosts, ethereal, whispering in the registers just beyond hearing; flitting about in that peripheral place just beyond the corner of your eye.

I am interested in the narratives revealed by clothing: the power of clothing to tell a story, to support a myth or to define a role. My goal is to tell new stories making manifest internalized meanings implicit in fashion and to reassess traditional understandings of gender roles.

I have collected nightgowns, baptismal dresses, children’s clothing from the late nineteenth and early twentieth century and I have sewn giant muslin dresses. They function as carriers of stories, individually and in groups. They are stiffened, suspended and animated to music, glued, painted and pinned onto canvas, and some are filled with light and sound They seem na├»ve, misguided, innocent, nostalgic, tragic, living in a dream world.

Each represents a costume donned by an individual enmeshed in a culture that attempted to define them or confine them to stable definitions of gender and class. Women’s history is tied up with fashion, their stories often hidden. Here, they are made visible.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Beached! a poem

I am excited!

About a month ago I entered 3 poems in a contest sponsored by Lansing City Pulse newspaper and Scene Metrospace Gallery in East Lansing, MI.  One of my poems was selected for an honorable mention!  So excited!  I've never sent a poem out anywhere before! While I cannot be there for the reading, the juror,Stephanie Glazier will read it at (SCENE) Metrospace, 110 Charles St.,E. Lansing, MI  on Wednesday, Nov. 28 at 7 p.m.
The event is free and open to the public.

The poem Beached was written a few years ago when I spent a week investigating different forms of writing at the Loft Literary Center, here in Minneapolis. Like most of my writing, it is developed from visual and sensual images.  Like most of my work as a visual artist, my writing is very process oriented.  I rarely enter the creative arena knowing exactly what I will produce.  I might have some vague ideas, some faint recurring themes...but until the words (or the charcoal) begin to flow onto the paper, I cannot glimpse my destination.

This poem began as a memory of the wind in the wheat on Prince Edward Island.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Ophelia rises like a phoenix

The frames were a long time coming...back ordered.  But the 8 ply museum matts were cut and shipped in a flash.  All ten are matted, glazed and framed. They are awaiting their wire hardware and picture lights now.  Whew!

They look so different framed.  The colors are richer; the focus seems sharper.  Go figure. Soon they will be safely stored, awaiting their time in  the sun.  The installation and performance is probably going to be summer or fall 2013.