Material Witness will focus on extreme textile process. Images will be posted here showing the history of my work, new work, developing projects and inspiration.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Dead Bugs and New Beginnings.

Naughty Peter has done it again. He always manages to do something delightful unless we are attempting to travel together. Then I am the less delightful of the two.

Naughty sent me an amazing collection of images related to slime and gooey bits from an
io9 article called The Bizarre Conciousness Of Slime Mold.) I am currently living in and running a gallery in Wells, B.C., Canada. The Good Eats Gallery and my apartment are located just before miles and miles of bog. Hence I am obsessed with nasty slimy things and am out belly crawling unless I am overcome by bear terror.

Corey Hardemen is one of the painters in my other gallery on the hill called the St. George's Gallery. She is a biologist and a painter. She also has three little children and is living in a travel trailer for the summer with her blacksmith husband, Michael. Corey and her children are kindred spirits relating to muck and goo. The children can be counted on to drag in some inspiring offal or other.

Life in Wells is going well. I am making friends of all ages and am being included in lots of activities and fun. There is a seriousness here. People are hardworking. Artists, loggers, goldminers, retired people, children and musicians all struggle together to make a living. There are also lots of dancers, actors, historians, costumers and the various people who keep Barkerville running. You make friends if people think you have a commitment to this beautiful little town. People pull together to create a little utopia of sorts. If you don't pull you don't really belong except for the season. I am learning to pull my share.

There is also a kindness here that I didn't expect. Yesterday while sending faxes in the Well's General Store the newest resident arrived. She is one and one half days old and her middle name is heaven spelled backwards. Mean and crusty looking forestry workers, a local artist, a goldminer and the shoppers all came over to greet her. "Welcome to the world and welcome to Wells little one!" How moving is that.

The other children here appear to be cherished. It isn't unusual to have a five year old deliver your sandwich at the restaurant. She is included. The children call out to you when you pass by.
There are only a dozen or so children in the school. The community garden is in the school grounds. People watch the children very carefully.

I have asked the children to tell me when they find something like a dead bird or interesting bug.
A number of them have come into the gallery and spent time looking at the low shelves that now have magnifying glasses. I have decided to set up a little children's gallery and a little play area in the St. George's.

Work is proceeding and I had 50 people in the Good Eats last night. School groups are coming through from places like Terrace, Smithers, Chilliwack and Merrit. Sometimes I run into the street and pull them in because my signage isn't very good yet. Hopefully this weekend the sign gets painted.

Island Mountain Arts is selecting applicants for the workshops this summer and also have a scholarship program. I have been asked to help select the scholarship students tomorrow. I look forward to see who is coming for the summer.

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