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.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Breast Bones

4 of 5 Eva Hesse

Tim and I travelled to Toronto to visit his family and his ninety six year old father. It was one of those bittersweet visits where you understand there won't be many more visits like it.

I saw a beautiful cardinal, a flock of wild turkeys and an albino squirrel. Also saw a snapping turtle drag trail out of the pond at brother Roly's house.

A comfortable flight both there and back.

We spent Saturday in the new Art Gallery of Ontario. The Henry Moore collection from the Tate was there and so was a series of work from Eva Hesse and Betty Goodwin's journals. I leaned forward to touch one of the Eva Hesse paper sculptures because I "forgot" and the guards came flying down from the ceiling to make me stop touching. Don't they know that textile artists touch? I did this once before in the Museum of Erotic Art in New York. Naughty Peter practically swatted my hand when I reached out to touch an original sex robot because the form was so well worked and sensitive. I will have to wear strait jackets or a restraint device next time I visit a show.

Eva Hesse was unfamiliar to me before I saw the show. I have no idea why. Her work was so comfortable and familiar. It makes me remember why I experiment with form and material. It reminds me what is important about explored repetition. Simplicity is beautiful. Fundamental and minimal are moving and sensual.

I had no idea that Henry Moore was so concerned with surface. Each sculpture used surface technique to reflect and create shadow and texture. Inside, outside, touch, reflection all important. I was intrigued with the marks made by the tools and am convinced these marks were enhanced to add further interest.

Betty Goodwin was so responsible with her documentation. She carefully considered all aspects of her work and kept track of many of her thoughts in little complete journals. Hundreds of journals. Why do we feel so intrigued by reading what artists have written? My journals and sketchbooks are different and not consistent. They are sometimes scribbled on old flyers and napkins, in report margins. I have tried to be disciplined by bringing sketchbooks with me or organizing time to spend time with them. Instead they are taped together or put in boxes all jumbly bumbly. So many of my sketchbooks are lovely for the first quarter and then filled with grocery lists or appointment times that I forget for the rest.

Looking at the beautiful journals of Henry Moore or Betty Goodwin reminded me of the importance of documentation for my own work.

I intended to go to the Textile Museum in Toronto. There was only time to enjoy the AGO.
Toronto needs another visit.

The old breast bone got twisted while hauling my luggage. Youchh! Might have to get taped up if not healed by tomorrow. Ice seems to work.

No comments: