Unlike some cancer patients, I couldn't engage in my own artistic endeavors and once again found crochet, following patterns created by others, as a way of staying calm and relaxed. My own art is on-going decisions and questions and physically engages my whole body and being. I gave myself a pass last year and was alright with that....but kinda imagined myself going gung-ho (I wonder where that term originated from) in my basement studio. My days creating remain hit and miss as the basement is colder than I anticipated, even with a heater, and the lighting, even with supplements, is sub-standard. But I've been getting a little something done and thankful for an opportunity of a collaboration, I completed my first art quilt of 2016.
This collaboration really highlights the beauty of the internet and social media. Some years ago I was interested in doing a group art project with a few girlfriends and was looking for short term art retreat spaces and contacted the owner of A.I.R. Studio Paducah. The retreat didn't pan out but he became a reader of this blog and we became friends on Facebook. Hi Alonzo Davis! He was invited to create a piece with The Smith Center for Healing and the Arts...a Center he was familiar with...after we had a phone convo and looking over the call for the exhibit we knew this was something we could create as a team instead of the invited artist interviewing someone and then creating a piece based on the interview. The medium that all the artists were given to work with was a wooden cigar type box. Alonzo had the outside and I did the inside.
My process was first to flip through my sketchbooks. I found this image based on a poem I wrote in the late 90s or early 2000s and the poem was based on an African folktale I read back in the 80s. Getting in my groove, I adapted the sketch several times, played with different ways to transfer the image onto cloth....
and the weather was unseasonably warm during this time too!
The poem and the drawing illustrate the ability to change, adapt, camouflage if necessary for survival and growth ...my great-grandmother would say "if you don't change, life will sho' change you" and this was always co-signed by my grandmother and my mother. My very good sistah-friend, Estella Majozo, use to say in reference to writing (and life) "it's all process, all process" Living with chronic illness and then coming out of cancer has me co-signing with "Lord, yes!" to both of them.
After I mailed my small 8 in square piece to Alonzo and he mailed me back the photos of the finished piece, all I could think to say was I want to buy it now..:)
It was a beautiful experience with a beautiful outcome.
If you live in the D.C area, you should consider attending the opening and acquiring this piece....it is the only one that was the collaboration of work by two artists!