Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Uncovering evidence.

1. find a new recipe for salmon fillets and the asparagus I just purchased.
2. pack for AQS
3. register for workshops for the July symposium.
4. reschedule studio time at MACA.
5. sort out items for giving away before the move.
6. purchase a pair of earrings that i really really love.
7. start writing the reference letter for Dee.
8. make a new personal music cd.
9. paint some fabric.
10. carve a stamp.

11. kiss peter.
12. go see Crowns with my mother.
13. bookcross a book and take a photo of where I leave it.
14. review lessons in photoshop tutorial.
15. purchase some art paper and work through the exercises in Make Your Mark.
16. make a fabric collage using samples selected for covering the couch.
17. get estimates for restoration of the furniture.
18. take pictures of Adrian II
19. make myself a quilted bag.
20. do April's quilt journal.

This is a task from Chap. 1 in Walking in This World, (WiTW) by Julia Cameron.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Dancing Under the Disco Ball

Around 2:00 am this morning I had a strong urge, compelling even to get up out of bed and write on my thoughts spurred by stimuli that I experienced yesterday...three of which can be neatly identified: 1) Deborah's April 12th entry and 2) the exhibit catalog of Uncle Tom to Peeping Tom: Race and Gender Matters that I received from Sonji and 3) specific critique questions on a work in progress that I want to pose to the Carnegie Art Quilt Network group that meets tomorrow.  But I didn't get up...instead, fought the urge thinking if I did I would be up all night without any sleep at all and since I had a 10:00am appointment this morning (which was rescheduled) I needed to try to fall asleep.  I comforted my resistence by saying that the drive was so strong that surely I would remember when I awoke and be able to bring even more clarity to my thoughts.  I was wrong and I knew I would be.  So this post is an attempt to try and recapture my thoughts as passionately as they came to me at 2:00 am.

I don't keep written journals anymore but absolutely love blogging and the blog world in general.  About 8 years ago I destroyed all my journals that had started back in my late teens through my early thirties.  I mostly wrote self-serving ANGST in my journals and used them for "dumping" aspects of my emotions that seemed most foreign and alien to me so that I could go on and be the me that I wanted to be.  During an ANGST free period I decided it would be fun to go back and review my journals.  After about 3-4 journals of not recognizing myself on paper, the thought hit me that what if I had died and my children would have found these and be left with the impression that this was somehow my more true self!  How awful and wrong that would have been!  There is always that assumption that what we find in someone's journal is somehow more of their truer, deeper self and that, in my belief, can be erroneous. So I happily destroyed them.

When I was actively writing poetry, I never used journals...poetry writing was for me an arduous, pain-staking labor of spirit and no journal could have contained the process.  Poetry writing involved the work of interviewing people, looking at geographical locations and places, doing research on the evolution of ideas, critique circles, etc. and coming back full circle to a point of emotion, idea, and image on paper, let alone the editing and re-editing that occurs.  My attempt to use a journal for this process was too confining. 

Seamless Skin allows me breathing space to just talk about "supporting evidences" of my life in general and my "emergence" as someone who wants to make art quilts.  I intentionally leave my episodic conflicts of distraction off of Seamless Skin because they just don't serve the intent of this space.  Conflict for me has its own magic that reveals to me I've survived it by living through it, and I'm moving forward, not forgetting it, but just moving on.  So I was very reluctant to share my problems with my health and insurance a few posts-ago but decided to because I felt it was important in that instance to say this is happening to a real life person and to provide evidence that serves as a statement, testimonial if you will, about healthcare in what is supposedly and widely held assumption that the U.S. is the leading country of the world.  To do so, helped me fight against how the situation was making me feel unworthy and hopeless and thus it became comfortable to place here. I am not reluctant to talk or discuss any circumstance or issue but I am more conscious of what I commit to print as being reflective of who I am and my daily, typical me.

One last pondering I wanted to express was the thought of how at a disadvantage I felt trying to develop art quilts due to my lacking of familiarity with design terms and concepts and visual art in general.  I've worked at trying to become more comforable with this new body of knowledge but then I wondered if I'm feeling stiffled due to making the creative process too cerebral or cognitive about it all and have surpressed the emotion and excitement that gets me going and creating. (??????????)  I know I've been told that understanding design is only a tool, no different, perhaps than the rotary cutters and rulers we use.  No tool should get to define the space solely making it devoid of human emotion and spirit! That hit me this morning and it was like dancing under the disco ball.  So now, I just can't wait to attend the Carnegie meeting tomorrow and talk about this work in progress and get all that raw honest critique about it.

oh, btw, medication arrived yesterday and my woes have subsided for now. but it took some tenacious self-advocacy on my part.  Peace.

Wednesday, April 5, 2006

Penny Sisto and her Vision of the African Enslavement in the U.S.

I don't know if Penny handled the spirits or the spirits handled her, but something other-worldly happened!

The Carnegie Center in New Albany, Indiana opened a permanent historical exhibit documenting events in Southern Indiana and Louisville, Kentucky regarding experiences surrounding The Underground Railroad.  Penny was asked to do these quilts in conjunction with the exhibit opening.  I went opening night but the crowd was too thick for me to do more than get a feeling for both exhibits.  Last Saturday, Penny gave a gallery talk and I went.  There are 23 quilts in the exhibit and all but 2 where made since December 2nd of 2005.  That is also my youngest son's birthday and the last time I saw Penny in person he was around 6 months old and I have a photo somewhere of her holding him at an exhibit at Mary Anderson Center for the Arts.  As Penny talked about her work, I was moved to tears often and had chills several times. 

(enlarge images by clicking over them)


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I find Penny's portrayal of the human soul and spirit to be her gift in textiles, but the one above was one that I felt if I stood before it long enough the man was going to start talking to me, so I had to ask her about who he was.  When she lived in Mali she had to tell this man that his time on earth was near due to blood posioning. She said he thanked her and it struck her how few people can hear the truth without hating the truth teller.  But as I type this now, I'm wondering when is hope false?  We can only know this in hindsight, right????  And isn't it our values (intangibles and evolving as they are) that really declare hope false or real????   But his image stayed with her and she placed her image of him in this quilt.

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The quilt on the right above is entitled Requiem for Pierre Toussaint.  To read more about him: Click and Click

The center quilt on the picture on the left above pictures Jesus with angels. Penny's vision of angels are not the plump cherubs we are accustomed to seeing but the children who have suffered on earth.  There is a child there with down's syndrome, one who is malnourished, etc.

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(on right above) Light a Candle In Heaven Harriet Tubman. 

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Dscn1376 I came away knowing that her politics, spirituality, art and soul are well integrated and progressive and speaks through her work, but I can see where many, or even most, would be uncomfortable or even intimidated by her sense of being in the world.  As for me, her work, presence is a blessing.