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.

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,