Tuesday, October 30, 2012

the last taboo

At a moment where you have 25 minutes watch the PowerPoint and hear the lecture, The Last Art Taboo, by artist Kate Kretz.  In the lecture she talks about the stigma of motherhood in the art world and the artists who are breaking it down. She includes one of my works in her PowerPoint.

I am proud to be a part of this presentation that was part of The National Textile Symposium in DC last month.

sleep, sleep, sleep...

 The deadline is starting to come into sight for my call for work Down to Sleep, so don't forget to mark your calenders and get your submissions in.  All the details here

rambling, wandering woman

I feel a bit like a bad parent to this blog, neglecting something that I love so much. But my life has just been in such a spin of change over the last 8 months that re finding my footing has been a challenge.  Balancing all elements of my life is pretty darn hard and I have had moments of more success and less in regards to that.

T's recent and uninvited addition to a work that is a "letter to my son." perhaps his drawing is meant to be there preserved in stitch?

And to be honest I went through a period were I just did not not want to look at any art much less write about it. My last body of work was such a powerful body of work for me to make and the result of it has really shifted where I am at with my work and as you all know that can be both profound and hard.  To some maybe my new works will not seem all that different but to me they are very different.  This leaves me both excited and terrified. Will people still respond to it, will they still like it, want to exhibit it, etc?

I am not abandoning previous works, I do still want to grow the sleepers series and exhibit it much more but my mind is with the new work for sure. 

It also is creeping more and more into the drawing world, even if done with thread, and this is also scary to me. I never have considered myself someone who draws. But here I am with a white piece of linen and a black thread making images.  And maybe it is so much like a drawing fiber curators and exhibits are a little less interested - they struggle with is my work really "embroidery."

So a little bit of a ramble. But I tend to do that here.  I want to ramble, I want to wander in my mind, my studio, my favorite art books. A rambling wandering woman that is me.

brooklyn oh brooklyn

To all of my Brooklyn  "family" my thoughts and love is being sent out to you. This is an image of Jane's Carousel a beautifully restored carousel in DUMBO a short walk from our old apartment in Brooklyn. Tesla loved it when we were there. Seeing this just breaks my heart and also very clearly expresses the circumstance the city is in.  Please send them your love and warm thoughts too.

Monday, October 29, 2012

another not to miss exhibit...

Another not to be missed exhibit in NYC...Rosemarie Trockel at the New Museum.  She chooses to combine her own work with work that inspires and influences her including a number of outsider artists, including thread wrapper Judith Scott.  Read the review by Roberta Smith here.

Cannot wait to go and review it myself.

the funny thing is that when you allow yourself to take a deep breathe, you realize that you can breathe again.

image from here.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

the mess left over.

I just need to visually see something I love today and as someone who's original love is and always will be photography that usually means photos.  I love photography, pure no digital manipulation, because no matter what it is truth. Even if it was set up and staged it existed for a moment as you see it and that is always a comfort for me.

I have always loved the work of Laura Letinsky as her work reminds me of how breathtakingly beautiful a mess can be. Of course her work is highly stylized, made with an incredibly sophisticated knowledge of still life and with careful planning. But in the end it is still sticky lollipops, rotting cantaloupe and dirty dishes and it is f**ing beautiful.

Her choice to embrace white, minimal composition and "the mess" makes me fill with a calm every time I look at it. Since I myself am venturing back to some still life imagery in my own work I am really being drawn to it in others works and she just seems to keep popping up.  See a recent NY times article on her new found success in the "commercial" world here.

One of my most favorite photographs that I ever took has similarities to her work, see it here.  But unlike a staged image this was taken the morning after a small thanksgiving dinner and is the true remnants of an evening with guests. I am definitely more interested in documenting real moments of mess that are beautiful but those of course are a little harder to find.

One quote I found about her work:

Still life is unavoidably an engagement with and commentary upon society’s material-mindedness. Laura Letinsky’s photographs of forgotten details such as wrapping paper, plastic containers, Styrofoam cups, cans, leftover food bits, and found trinkets remark upon these remnants of daily subsistence and pleasure. Of major influence are Dutch-Flemish and Italian still-life paintings whose exacting beauty documented shifting social attitudes resulting from exploration, colonization, economics, and ideas about seeing as a kind of truth. But instead of the traditional allure of a meal awaiting an unseen viewer’s consumption, Letinsky photographs the remains of the table so as to investigate the precarious relationships between ripeness and decay, delicacy and awkwardness, control and haphazardness, waste and plenitude, pleasure and sustenance. What is looked at is "after the fact," what (ma)lingers, what persists, and by inference, what is gone... Little bits and pieces hover in white grounds blown flat by blinding light, later lurking in deep inky grayed out pools. Light, through its abundance and its absence, can record and reveal as well as obscure and exaggerate. Formally, through degrees of control and chaos, the domestic scenes Letinsky photographs are redolent with the allures of domesticity (safety, comfort, familiarity) as well as its dangers (boredom, satiation, lack of desire). These liminal images are not intended as accurate visual description, rather aspiring to describe another kind of sensing. What one sees is not always visible and Letinsky explores photography’s transformative quality, changing what is typically overlooked into something splendid in its resilience."

If only all the mess in my life could be so beautiful.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012


Resonating with me today:

 Carolee Shneeman, this may not be verbatim:

I didn't appear naked in my work because I wanted to be fucked...
I did it so other women could be embodied, and recognize themselves.


I am really looking forward to seeing the exhibit Bound/Unbound at the Asia Society in NYC but wanted to make sure you all know about it too in case you can make the trip to the museum. Lin Tian Miao is a very prolific Chinese artist that lived for a long period in NYC.

 Her work explores issues of the body, aging and the monotany of labor.

I am especially looking forward to seeing the exhibit as I already knew about and loved her work but her website is SUPER slow and therefore a laborious process in itself so seeing the exhibit will allow me to see more of her work without all the frustration of the web.

 You can see a previous post I wrote about her here.
Get all the information on the exhibit here. 

walk through...

Take a little walk through the current exhibit, Self-Fabricated at the Art Complex Museum in Massachusetts. The curators will give a talk this Thursday morning.

Monday, October 22, 2012

ornamental worlds..

 The imagery for an upcoming exhibit in NYC is intriguing me- though there is a minimal amount. The upcoming show at the Lithic Habitats gallery features some new installations/work by Brooklyn based artist Rose Nestler.

The work on exhibit is newer work that includes upholstered objects.  And based on her previous work it is going to be intriguing.  Most of Rose's website is focused on her earlier wall drawings.

Most recently a series done in an abandoned hospital shower.....

She says this about her work:
Through exploring human attachment to material objects, my work investigates the appreciation and gradual depreciation of the objects that we possess. I am interested in the material objects, which we discard or neglect, searching for places where discarded or outdated objects become resident in natural landscapes. I am equally interested in ornamentation whose form attempts and ultimately fails to imitate the natural world. Within my sculptures, installations and drawings, I expose the lives of inanimate objects once they cease to be human possessions.

I find her juxtaposition of domestic and banal spaces with fantasy and the passage of time quite compelling.  Her reference to the decorative elements of spaces also has a lot of potential as a conceptual tool.

I look forward to seeing  her exhibit in NY when I am in town next month for my own show.  You should visit too.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

stitch with me.

 I believe there are 1 or 2 spots left in my Photo Embroidery class in Boston this Sunday. So come on sign up and stitch with me. Get the details here.

layers of our own identity...

This work is very much not fiber based but it is oh so good. French born NY based artist Amelie Chabannes uses an incredibly gorgeous palette of building materials and mixed media to create installations/performances that are symbolically peeling the layers of identity.

Struck by the words of Gaston Bachelard and his comparison of the soul to a house - she began to build sculptures built of layers that she then slowly tears about as a metaphor for finding, searching, and revealing ones soul.

In one work she is inspired by a Jung quote, read the description from her website below:

In Contributions to Analytical Psychology C. G. Jung asks his readers to consider the following comparison.

“We have to describe and to explain a building the upper story of which was erected in the nineteenth century; the ground-floor dates from the sixteenth century, and a careful examination of the masonry discloses the fact that it was reconstructed from a dwelling-tower of the eleventh century. In the cellar we discover Roman foundation walls, and under the cellar a filled-in cave, in the floor of which stone tools are found and remnants of glacial fauna in the layers below. That would be a sort of picture of our mental structure”.

“Intimate immensity and Lagerst├Ątten ” is a mixed media installation, which investigates the difficult and enduring task of capturing the depth of the human soul.

The project portrays the complexity of the being and its representations in specific philosophical and psychoanalytical analysis...The installation and performance will also evoke the conflict between the two psychic forces, the conscious and its fragile rationality opposed to the archaic and more intuitive unconscious.

Her work is complex and conceptual. For me the concept and references make the work even more compelling and moving. I have always been drawn to work that can manage to be highly personal and about human experience but also live in the aesthetic world of minimalism. But with all this said visually her work manages to say so much of it without any assistance, truly successful art then. 


Her newest work not only deconstructs her own identity but the influences she has.  Read about it here. 

I really hope to see her work in person someday and encourage any one who has not read Poetics of Space (the book of Bachelard she references) to read it.  It changes your world if you are an artist of any kind who considers space.

See more of Amelie's work here.

Monday, October 15, 2012


Definitely one of the hardest things about moving from NYC is the lack of seeing good and interesting art all the time, or at least really often.  Being here in Boston has not proven a shortage of interesting creative folks but as far as art seeing good art it has been shall I say snoozy.  So when I recently went to the galleries here I had very little expectations and for the most part those low expectations were met.

As always Sampson Projects had a a good show, this month of drawings/paintings that had a simplicity and quietness of design and sophistication of color that I appreciated. Though there website has no images of this work, weird.

Additionally I did enjoy the stuffed animal totems/alters of artist Lucy Watson's seeming in homage to childhood, sexuality, "happiness" and the unsettling nature of it all. Of course as any work made from stuffed animals there is the derivative nature toward Micheal Kelly and Annette Messeger but Lucy manages to have a freshness about it.

Her colors and animals stay mostly complete and just grow into and out of each other, they stay clean and joyful in color palate and texture but carry the same unsettling punch that Kelly and Messeger's work has. 

The gallery, Anthony Greaney, was a sweet little space with a refreshingly young voice and well curated walls.  So it is a gallery to keep my eyes on and I look forward to seeing more of Lucy's work too.

Read a review on the show here and here.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

self fabricated- Ilona Anderson

Ilona Anderson was one of the artists in self-fabricated that I knew the least about. She does not have a website so my access to her work before the show installed was quite limited.

This actually led me to having a very wonderful fresh experience with work that I rarely get. She makes work inspired from her childhood in South Africa and the dangers and discomforts that environment made her so acutely aware of but also of the delight that exists in human life. (The above work is from her response pieces to the Kimono. She chose to be inspired by the colors of the kimono and make a series of almost kama sutra like embroideries. They were beautiful illustrations of sensuality.)

The result of her work is both poignant and complex but also playful and "delightful." Most of the work she exhibited were smaller scale linens embroidered with everyday but potentially dangerous items like a pocket knife, barbed wire or an open box of matches.

The contrast of the ladylike doily, careful hand embroidery and potentially hazardous object was compelling.

She also had on display her installation "the South African tea party."

 She describes her work as:

In South Africa, where I am from, we see all around us people suffering from poverty, AIDS, violence and corruption. Although these are issues that are heightened in that society, I know that all people experience suffering. What I want to do in my work is somehow to cut through all of this, and try to express some of the basic goodness and wise ordinariness that we all experience. I want to invoke a sense of delight, celebrate a way of knowing that reveals life to be both comical and terribly poignant...

In the catalogue the author writing about her work mentions how with the everyday banality of her actual subject matter it articulates the everyday experience of fearing for your life or fearing bodily harm in environments such as Ilona's childhood South Africa.

I very much look forward to seeing more of Ilona's work in the future and hopefully her too!