Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Lessons from LB


So today I am giving you an observation from one of my inspirations Louise Bourgeois.
She is  amazing in that; she in unabashadly honest, incapable of not being herself, is one of the most important and influential living female artists, she has been an important figure for over 50 years but was essentially unknown until she was in her mid 40's, she is still making relevant work at 95 years old, and she did all this while raising a family!!!
I figure someone that amazing is always worth listening to. 

If you do not have the book Drawings and Observations you must go buy it immediately, it is a must in the home or studio of any creative woman.  (all of you)


This is  Untitled, 1950

Surprisingly enough, since I come from a family of tapestry weavers, I am interested in whether you have one thread or two threads.  
When I was little my mother would show me something  in a tapestry, suddenly there was a knot. 
Usually knots happen to people who are lazy, because they don't want to rethread the needle too often.  Plain laziness.  So they get a thread that is much too long.  Now if a thread is too long it's going to get into a knot, and I loved  to undo the knots.  
I spent a long time-- even today-- undoing a knot.  I was so patient because it represented an activity that was symbolic, that I was able to undo something that was a problem: it was within my competence.  But for that you have to know whether you have two threads or one thread...
For me the knot is a problem that you have to understand to erase.  People fight with each other, but if you are clever and patient enough you can undo the trouble.  I am not very gifted in that chapter, but I try.  I do not [always] untie my knots in my real life, in my relations with people.  But I can do it with a thread of silk , or rope.  


One of the many things I have learned from LB.   I no longer ever use a string that is too long. But if I get a knot I embrace the power and time of undoing it.
So hopefully if you get knots today you can slow down and have the patience to undo them and feel the gift of the undoing.
Thanks LB.

3 comments:

Liz said...

beautiful words.
by the way, TAG, you're it! Go to my to see the rules of the game.

Jan said...

I love the "knot" prose. I also love the photo of the pins on the ironing board.

Jo said...

Glad ya"ll love her words as much as I do