Monday, April 30, 2012

Will it go 'round in circles? Will it fly high like a bird up in the sky?

See these knots?  Can I tell you how they happened?  Saturday morning a friend who lives in another time zone called...noting that it was 6:30am for her, I grabbed the phone.  We talked for a couple of hours on numerous subjects and got around to mentioning text in art...the night before I saw Glenn Ligon on Art21 talking about script, she recalled a work by artist Houston Conwill and a line from a poem I wrote about my great-grandmother praying with knotted handkerchiefs and a type of writing done by ancient folk  that was made by knotting...I googled knotted writing systems after we hung up and found Quipu by the Inca. Noted this info in the recesses of my mind just in case I found myself on Jeopardy as a contestant.
once thought to be used for accounting, a wife/husband team, one an archaeologist the other a mathematician, have researched and studied them and they are now believed to also be narratives. 
Come Sunday...I was in the studio for 2 hours before picking up another great Sista-friend and heading over to a reunion concert.  I had no plans other than straightening up and layering a few small pieces since I was wearing "good clothes" (clothes that do not have any paint or dye on them)...while there I was reflecting on the phone conversation and the idea of using knots to communicate and asked myself how I would do it...picked up this cloth and some coordinating thread that was close by and started this...
working title is "docked boats"  

see the knots in green on green?
While doing the knots, something the authors from the book I mentioned in the post below came to I was using a knotting technique traditional to quilting in a new way...not as a method to hold the layers of the quilt together (Lisa, my cousin, has made her first quilt and used knots to tie the layers together...her first grandchild was born 2 weeks thus, the quilt...can I confess, I have never made a quilt for any of my grandchildren...the shame, the shame)...anyways, as I was saying...not as a method to hold the layers together but as a technique that holds memory about my great-grandmother which becomes embellishment on this small piece.

Fast forward to the reunion concert... back in the 70s (some will say before then) an icon of Louisville social life was Joe's Palm Room.  They had a house band called Crisis.  In the 80s I was old enough to go because I would have never ever pretended to be older with a fake id to get by the all to complacent doorman before I was of legal age just to enjoy the live band!  Anyways, as I was saying, in the 80's Joe's was the place to go if you loved jazz and live music which I did and Crisis could make the music talk and walk, if you know what I mean.  Over time, life changed, as it always will, and my lifestyle changed and so did Joe's and so did Crisis.  The members, some who are no longer with us, did a reunion concert last night...and Good Lord!  memories flooded me with such clarity while they were playing and all I could think of was to expand a line from the last poem I wrote about a decade ago that read "I have no memories without these poems" to I have no memories without these poems, music, and cloth.

Beloved, I leave you with this...Mr. Clements was a staple with the Crisis and one of the original members I believe...anyways for your listening pleasure.  Okay, as a result of sharing Billy Clements 4 tracks, I've just discovered Tom Waits, new to me, I like his voice, narratives and sense of humor in his lyrics...just added him to my wish list.  See...thats how it goes 'round for me...who knows, I just might be lucky enough to be a loosing contestant on Jeopardy!


  1. Thanks for the history lesson. You are such a well-informed person. By the way I just love how you used your throw-a-way piece in the back of your blog. It is really lovely.

    1. you're welcome Carol...i do love information but i also have a terrible memory but when the brain pistons are really firing, i wear myself out going from one train of thought to another.