Monday, July 30, 2018

First Skin


First Skin is a hand-stitched self-portrait sculpted and sewn from polyester organza. It is a somewhat grotesque representation fabricated from an undesirable material, with primitively sewn fingers, toes, knees, breasts and hanging threads that are unkempt and unresolved. The body is hollow, presenting as ethereal, even wispy, and yet it reveals surprising details in the shadows cast onto the wall.

Postured and vulnerable, these projections that smooth over blemishes, reveal bulges and delineate wrinkles, articulate certain unnamed truths that illustrate a compelling emergence of spirit, growth and change. 


It is currently exhibiting at Dorchester Art Project in the show Altarations: A Selection of Shrines. My shrine, First Skin, represents my ritual of process and craft in the devotion of art, history, identity, time and place. In taking needlearts away from lapwork and bring it into large scale dimensional space First Skin represents my expressions both freely and confidently and as integral to who I am. I'm honored to be a part of Altarations and have the opportunity to launch this new work in a show about devotion and personal story.

FIRST SKIN, 79x24x8 in. w/hanger,
polyester organza, thread, wood hanger, 2018
Photo: Will Howcroft

These eclectic shrines are receiving lots of attention and justifiably so. Dorchester Art Project is a funky second floor space in Fields Corner "... providing a unique space for Boston based emerging artists, in the midst of the city’s largest and most dynamic neighborhood". 

The enthusiasm of the organizers is contagious and I'm so excited to be a part of this creative energy. The closing reception is August 26 from 1 to 4 pm. I plan on attending and am looking forward to meeting everyone... please join us to see this culmination of truly divine experiences.

Read the review by WBUR Artery here.





ALTARATIONS: A Selection of Shrines
Dorchester Art ProjectsJuly 21 - August 26, 2018
Closing Reception: August 26, 1-4 pm
Dance Party: August 26, 4 pm
Gallery Hours: Sat-Sundays 12-6 pm

Friday, July 20, 2018

Mary Janes


Thought Blizzard, 4x3x3 in., found figurine, linen thread - 2018

I have a new body of work that is presently exhibiting in the window at Boston Sculptors Gallery. They were created during the oppressive weather of this past March. My first born, Thought Blizzard, carefully captures my feelings of the day. 

I didn't realize how resonant these pieces would end up being for me. As usual, I work from instinct and these small sculptures materialized much faster than my words could keep up. Here's an attempt to capture who they are.

The Red Shoes

Caroline is a Work in Progress,
7.5x5x5 in., found figurine, asstd fibers - 2018

Mary Janes sculptures are inspired by the cultural pressures felt by many but particularly women whose stifling restrictions permeate into all the physical spaces of their world. Girls are coached to accommodate and impress; and domesticity is valued as moral character where impeccably constructed appearances fall within the limits of acceptable behavior.
 

I find my muses while trolling flea markets. Little girls sporting their Mary Jane shoes and women postured in proper dress. Most of these figures were manufactured mid 20th century during a wave of repressive sexist culture that seems to be rebounding today. 

All are tightly bound with yarn around the head and torso, masking identities and with hands breaking out of the fray. The threads form symmetrical global shapes resembling yarn balls, a common domestic symbol. The figures are playful yet quietly disturbing with their ambiguous and still stances. 

Are they retreating?  Are they pushing back?  Or are they stuck in a state of paralysis? It kind of feels like all of the above.

Primped, 13x8x8.5 in.,
found figure, assorted threads - 2018

Skirting the Issue, 6x4x4 in., 2018

              ...Then again, maybe their sentiments may be more universal than this. Dissolution of the EPA and civil rights policies, separation of families, treason, lack of truths and the irrational environment of hate that is swirling around. It's enough to have you take refuge in your own alternate universe right?  Make sure to keep your hands free, so we know that you're here, and can help you unravel if we ever get out of this mess.

They have been very popular and a couple have disappeared to new homes already. Please come and take a look! Check the website for the collection to date.

Also, it's a great  time to visit the gallery and see the Breath + Matter exhibition with 24 collaborations between sculptors and poets. Click here to read more about my collaboration with Wendy Drexler.

Window gallery at Boston Sculptors Gallery where some of my Mary Janes are currently residing. From L to R: Mary Janes (I&II), Caroline is a Work in Progress, Shhhhh, Reaching Equilibrium. Visit my site for more info.

Monday, July 9, 2018

Breath + Matter

UNDERFOOT (detail), crochet, rayon, wool, wire, human prosthetic eyes - 2018

I met Wendy Drexler last fall after I came across her latest publication Before There Was Before at Belmont Books. I had just become a member of Boston Sculptors Gallery and had the opportunity to join in on their latest group show Breath+Matter. Being late to the party I was looking for a poet collaborator, and quickly, in order to have enough time to establish our relationship to work together.

I immediately was taken in by the accessibility and sensitivity of Wendy's writing. We share an interest in the every day, bringing attention and interest to objects that are often overlooked. I work with found objects in my sculptures and Wendy's poems do the same. So I was thrilled with her enthusiasm and energy to join this project with me. Wendy and I have become fast friends. Meeting Wendy is one of the many gifts of this project. We've had many opportunities to get together, becoming so engaged in our conversations that we often need to remind ourselves to talk about the project! 

We had trouble narrowing down our options for subject matter so part of our process was to go on fieldtrips together and see where our inquiries and interests led us. One such trip was to Harvard's Natural History Museum right up the street from my studio. We spent time with the insects, taxidermy and rare minerals but it was a special exhibit about moss that captivated us both. 

Here's an excerpt from Wendy's statement:
"...And so they turned to moss, first responding visually to its beautiful and minute microscopic structures, then researching how this ancient life form grows, propagates—surviving, in times of drought, on a single drop of water! They’ve discovered that moss, like our own species, is resilient, collaborative, and opportunistic, and that the smallness of moss, with its...   genius  for filling  the emptiness— snatching  a scant gap,  spreading  between cracks  encompasses the dynamic splendor and complexity of the world."
Click here for the lesson plan designed for the exhibition by Wendy Drexler and Audrey Henderson.
 Breath+Matter is an exhibition of 24 sculptor/poet collaborators
"....who are investigating the essence of inspiration, which is mysterious, profound, and intimate. It is a unique collaboration between two art forms: poetry, which is ephemeral and sculpture, which is concrete."
Wendy's reading of 'Moss Muse' to a large crowd of captivated listeners!
Join us for our Grand Opening on July 18th, from 5:30 - 8:30 PM. 

The reception will feature readings by Wendy and several other participating poets.

A second reception and reading will take place on August 3rd as part of SOWA’s First Fridays evening gallery walk. 

The public is invited free of charge.



Breath+Matter
July 18 - August 12, 2018
Opening Reception and Poetry Readings: July 18, 5:30-8:30
First Friday Reception and Poetry Readings: August 3, 5:30-8:30
Poetry readings will be happening on the hour of 6, 7 and 8 pm.

Boston Sculptors Gallery, 486 Harrison Avenue, Boston, MA 02118
(617) 482-7781, bostonsculptors@yahoo.com



Thursday, June 28, 2018

Collecting Myself


Entering the summer, I am back in the studio with a more relaxed practice than I've had for over a year.  With two major milestones behind me, my inaugural show at Boston Sculptors Gallery and my daughter's wedding, I'm finally finding the space to sit back and take it all in.

FiberLAB, one of my favorite activities, is a study group in my studio where during biweekly meetings we test multitudes of techniques and processes while sharing materials and results. Over the past 2 years I've collected several containers full of samples and have been thinking hard about how to contain them, as a sort of journal, in a way that is organic and not too fussy.

Today I devised a signature assembly of the swatches to work like the leaves of a book. The pages include eco-dyed silks, indigo with shibori stitching, sculptural crocheted leaves, weavings without a loom, black doilies from the scorpion... plus more.  The binding is sewn with ribbon and it includes several blanks, from my stash of tea-dyed silks, to provide places for additional samples to be attached later. The idea is to document processes and results for reference that is bound together in one place as a singular resource.

I plan to continue this practice with future workshops including while teaching in Skopelos in September. What a perfect keepsake from what is sure to be a memorable experience, documenting place while Stitching Nature and Culture on a Greek Island!










Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Brrrrrrrr.....


The view from my kitchen window this morning!

Well, in spite of this horrific weather, there are three things to be thankful for...

The sun is shining today.
Blizzards help me catch up with correspondence by keeping me home.
This week we resume FiberLAB !!

Saturday, March 17 from 10am - 1pm
11 Miller Street Somerville

We have so much to catch up with. So far the weather reports sunny skies. The studio feels very empty without Her Highness, Stinger, so we need to fill it up with our creativity and warmth.

I've added a new Paypal button to the blog. Please let me know if you're signing up for this session so I can assure that we have space.

N E W S ! !

Our FiberLAB has two exciting happenings...

We are soon to be featured on the website of the publication The Woven Tale Press. They interviewed me and asked for many images... They are super impressed with our group and I can't wait to see what they post in the article. Check into link above often... will be published soon!

Also, I will be talking about our FiberLAB at Ignite Craft Boston 2018, on Friday March 23 at the Fuller Craft Museum at 7 pm. Visit the Ignite website for info about free tickets (they run out fast) and public transportation options.


Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Waxing Lyrical About This Session of FiberLAB



In ten days, on September 23, we will begin this season's first FiberLAB session. 

I am excited to share with you many of the techniques I've been playing with...

Sculpting with organza and thread
Dipped Organza in wax creating compelling surfaces to stitch into
Dyeing silks and threads with tea
Wire armatures
Metallic surface applications

Looking forward to hearing about what everyone is up to and our shared enthusiasm about all things fiber!


THE SCHEDULE:

Miller Street Studio, Somerville
Saturday 10 am - 1 pm

2017/2018 Session I - Fall
Sept. 23, Oct. 21, Nov. 4 
(please note the 4-week gap between the first two meetings)

2017/2018 Session II Fall/Winter
Nov. 18, Dec. 2, 16
(every other week)

Click here for more info


Monday, August 14, 2017

New FiberLAB Schedule



Join us as we launch into our 2017/2018 schedule beginning this September 23. 

Please check out the schedule and learn more about our enriching program here.

This Fall we will be following up with everyone's work, professional endeavors and personal goals. We'll be experimenting with fabric and wax, natural dyeing, armature building plus much more.

Space is limited for our Saturday group so sign up soon. 

If there is interest we can add another day/night too!

Later!