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.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Road To HELL

Well....all I can say is that my trip home was from hell!!!!

Picture a bad cold, a lost purse, locations with no restrooms, everyone with head music on a different channel, a cranky two year old behind me who had just learned to spit like a dock worker, a screaming and exhausted baby whose mom didn't help by scolding her, a gaseous octogenarian whose chair kept flipping back on my already sore knee and a little boy with Down Syndrome who repeated one or two words over and over again from Vancouver to Quesnel.

Thankfully Laurie was there to pick me up and drag me for dinner. Pasta never tasted so good.
Groceries then home.

The biggest thrill was that we got to encounter a newborn moose with her aggressive and protective momma. We were in a little, little car and the moose thought she could take us. Laurie saved the day again and was savvy enough that the moose allowed us to pass.

I arrived at the Good Eats long enough to collapse after looking around at the beautiful bog and the sunset.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

What a Ball!!!

I had an absolute ball over the last two days. the workshop-work parties turned out to be very productive despite the fact I had a ferocious cold. Tons of work was accomplished as I floated around in a daze trying to keep track of what I was trying to accomplish.

The wonderkind from the Public Dreams Society turned out to be efficient and creative with work ethics as long as your arm. It was wonderful to meet with Jody, Kirsten and Rachel. They ran around and pulled together tons of work from long distance and also were the most accomplished papier machers.

Each work party had amazing artists. Cara Manning came. She worked with me during the winter at Williams St Studios. Karen Barnaby, the chef , showed up to help with a stream of other artists. Everyone brought delicious food and I had my first taste of basil since I left for the North. Fritatta, strawberries, cous cous with lemon grass and tons of nuts and fruit, muffins and cookies, Fresh berries of every kind and yumcious cherries. There was even Chinese dim sum buns and lovely things to drink and eat with cheeses and fresh pears. Chefs turned into terrific extreme textile artists and artists turned into fabulous cooks.

We worked hard and made dozens of complex lanterns for the installation for the Illuminaires Festival at Trout Lake. We made salmon eggs, ascaphus truei eggs and umbilical cords, mushrooms and cocoons. We also made stalks and stems and talked about inspiring nature and ways of working.

I felt extremely humbled by the capacities of everyone who showed up. I got to learn new things and try out old skills and pass them on. I heard about projects, grants, artist residencies and got to connect with old friends like Fay Logie and Haruko Okana.

I will talk later about how awestruck I felt while working with humble paper and glue. And about how exciting it was to play with a cadre of skills and wonderful women. Imagine that I actually get paid to do this!!!

It is now late and I have one more evening in my little Vancouver house. I leave for the bus to Wells early in the morning and I have to wash my clothes because I want to use my own washing machine and not have to hand wash or drag things up and down mountain roads to the little laundromat in Wells.

It is going to be hard to leave tomorrow but I really do love what has happened for me in Wells. I am reminded that Vancouver is my home. Wells is a place that just dances in my heart.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Lakes and Lanterns

I am home in Vancouver to do a workshop with the Public Dreams Society. They have given me the honour of designing and creating a series of lantern sculptures for the beautiful Illuminaires Festival at Trout Lake. I will work with thier volunteers and staff to accomplish an installation at the lake.

Subject matter is the microscopic, the fragile and the environment around the Sea to Sky route to the Olympics. There will be a myth created about Ascaphus Truei, my favourite little tailess froggy. Rumour has it that there are dancers, a guy with a bike providing electricity through a human powered generator, and a musician playing ancient Austrailian wind instruments.

The bus trip down from Wells was glorious. The weather was neither too hot or too cold. The landscape was just beautiful. The bus driver was friendly and kind. The food wasn't even horrible.

So ,flu or not, I immerse myself in paper mache glue today. Will also show others how to rip, tear, slash and burn.

Then for cosy cuddles with my old chum Tim!!! Hot and Sour Soup sounds good.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Selling stuff

Stuff is selling!

All hung and people are showing up to both galleries.

I am learning how to do this. The bugs are really big and hungry here. I am still doing it!

Selling Stuff

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Tim and Louise have come and gone and now the St. George's Gallery is officially open minus the credit card machine. The labeling still needs to be done and so does some of the P.R.

I have been struck with the most unusual but annoying problem. The people I lived with for four days at the beginning of my stay in Wells have decided to spend time doing acts of unwanted kindness? Boundary problems abound. They have repeatedly come onto the property of the Church. They planted a garden of sorts. Kinda laid down some railway ties and planted a pansy in a log, spread dirt all over and generally made a mess. They took a number of questionable objects but Church owned property, relaid the lattice in their yard and mine, changed the wood pile around, moved the lawn chairs, and stole a number of the pansies I was just in the process of either killing or planting.

I have a problem addressing the Pansy Liberation Army! The male in the partnership scares me. He has approached me asking for money and has acted completely unpredictably, apparently upset by my lack of gratefulness. When I ask him not to do things he says that I didn't. He tells me what I need to do and how to do it. He also tells me how to fit in around here.

In the meantime I have been trying to set up my gallery. It has been slow going because of delays with the powers that be. All approvals in. All machines for transactions here. Instruction being forwarded. Soon, I hope.

Cory Hardeman and Claire are now also setting up studios in the St, George's Gallery.

Tim and Louise have just left after a weekend of setting up, parties and an amazing Celtic pub night at the Well's Hotel. They hung, packed and carried and scrubbed and painted. They planned and organized and negotiated. They were most appreciated. They left leaving me with real life in Wells. Less spoiled and more lonely. Maybe a little harder than last time.

I am now a consulting artist for the Illuminaires Festival in Vancouver. I am in the midst of planning a huge lantern installation for summer, a small one for winter and a show in February at Numen. I have also been invited to consider collaborating at the National Taiwan Craft Research Institute for this fall. Feeling a little overwhelmed. Setting up galleries and doing art and planning are two very different things. Each seems to come from a completely different part of my being.

My goal was to knock myself out of my comfort zone. Accomplished. I seem to spend a lot of time being uncomfortable and awkward. I saw a stuffed moose yesterday with long gangly limbs and dissonent movement. I completely related.

My sweety came for four days and I felt normal. He left and I felt different again. He is so reassuring and kind to me. He even hand feeds me. He works hard to make this happen for me but I wonder how up to this I really am. Operating in Vancouver is so easy in contrast. Operating in New York is easy compared to this. Operating in Wells is made much easier because the people here are mostly so very lovely.

Now I must go back to the gallery and label some art. Maybe someone with cash will come by today and buy something.