Filed under: Fleeting thoughts..., textile forms | Tags: art, ICA Boston, knitting, macrame, textiles, weaving, Wool, yarn
I was going through museum withdrawal recently, so I went to the ICA in order to get my art fix. I went specifically to the ICA because of their current show: Fiber: Sculpture 1960 – Present. EXCITING!!! My excitement should not be surprising as I have a yarn stash the size of a water buffalo in the attic. Hee hee! (Don’t tell my husband.)
Before going to the show, and speaking of fiber, I noticed this on the windowsill:
No, not the Halloween decoration. THE TOAST. My son somehow decided that THIS would be a good place to leave his egg covered toast. Why, you may ask? Who knows. Six-year-olds work in mysterious ways…and mine typically works in ways that are MOST MYSTERIOUS.
Back on topic: the work at the ICA was fantastic. I loved the textures, the colors…everything. It was hard to restrain myself not to TOUCH the artwork, as it just begs to be poked and hugged. If you like to knit, you know what I’m talking about. I get itchy fingers in a yarn store NOT because I’m allergic to wool, but because I need to snuggle the yarn. This is frowned upon at a museum, though. Humph.
Here are a few of the works, (you will note that some would be more “snuggly” than others)…
(BTW…this blog is a “grammar free zone”…)
Alan Sheilds, Nina Got It for 100 Francs, 1971
This looked like an intricate mesh interlaced with thin wood dowels and suspended from the ceiling. LOVE IT! It isn’t clear if the main textile in the piece was created or found. It looks like a found piece that was dyed, especially if you consider the title. If I had a big, white, modern house…I’d love to have this floating in a corner. I’d sit in a white Bertoia bird chair while drinking a pumpkin latte (’tis the season), and just gaze at it for hours. I love the tension between it’s opacity and its transparency. They are so balanced. (Not to change the subject, but does anyone want to buy me one of those Bertoia chairs? No? What about a pumpkin latte? Bueller?)
And a detail:
Alan Shields, Nina Got It for 100 Francs (detail), 1971
It looks kind of childish with it’s bright colors simple construction…but it looks really great as a whole.
Another cool piece:
Ed Rossbach, Constructed Color, 1965
Ed Rossbach, Constructed Color (detail), 1965
TINY RAFFIA BRAIDS. This looks like some kind of dried sea creature. I like the colors. Small hands. Look at that texture!
Elsi Giauque, Element spatial (Spatial Element), 1979
And a detail:
Elsi Giauque, Element spatial (Spatial Element) (detail), 1979
I loved this too! This would also go fabulously in that imaginary white modern house that I do not own. It’s interesting that some of pieces in the show were very heavy, while others very light. That sounds kind of dumb and obvious, but I love the contrast. In other words…I think of other sculptural materials, such as bronze, as…well, heavy…always heavy. But look how different fiber can be! I suppose it is generally linear, but can be bundled, knotted, woven, etc. to create density or lightness.
Alexandre Da Cunha, Kentucky Pied de Poule I, 2012
I love the neutral colors here. I also love the thickness and almost Amish look to it. The most fabulous thing about that piece is that it is made of mop heads. I KID YOU NOT. Isn’t that fantastic???? No? Too bad.
Diane Itter, Color Point, 1981
Diane Itter, Color Point (detail), 1981
Oh. My. God. HUNDREDS of brightly colored embroidery threads (a guess), are deftly knotted to form a kind of textile Op Art. CAN YOU SEE HOW MANY KNOTS THERE ARE IN THIS??? Amazing. The colors are incredible, and the precision is ridiculous. It makes my inept “friendship bracelets” of elementary school look a bajillion times more inept.
Sherri Smith, Front Range, 1976
Sherri Smith, Front Range (detail), 1976
Ahhhh…layers and layers of knotted, knitted wool. AMAZING. This one begs to be touched, and yet I did not. (Wouldn’t this be a FANTASTIC sweater? Is that gauche to say so? Probably.) Again…look at the texture!!! Sigh…swoon…
Xenobia Bailey, Sistah Paradise’s Great Wall of Fire Revival Tent, 1993-2009
Xenobia Bailey, Sistah Paradise’s Great Wall of Fire Revival Tent (detail), 1993-2009
WHOA. If there were crocheting Olympics, this artist would be on the cover of a Wheaties box. How does one even BEGIN this kind of fantastic creation???? I think this artist needs to do an installation at the ICA. She needs to fill an entire room with her works. It would probably be asking too much if I wanted to snuggle some of her works, but I digress…
I need more pom poms. Just sayin’.
A trip to the ICA is always a fantastic few hours. I wish that I lived closer, or I’d just hang out there ALL THE TIME. I’m sure that they’re glad that I’m not a local.
Coincidentally, I recently started dabbling in weaving. It’s pretty fun, and works up MUCH faster than knitting. Here is my crude start:
Don’t you wonder how I can muster up the gumption to continue weaving this little thing after seeing that show at the ICA??? I do. I clearly have no shame! I like to learn new things, so I am perpetually a beginner…(and one of those “jack of all trades/master of none.”) This thing screams, “BEGINNER!” and has that tell-tale D.I.Y. aura. Oh well. At least I can snuggle it.
Filed under: Fleeting thoughts..., textile forms | Tags: art, artist, groundhog, quilt, seasonal affected disorder, snow, winter
If this post seems grumpy, it’s just S.A.D. Those of us in the Northeast embrace this seasonal grumpiness by complaining about the temperature, the snow, the temperature of the snow, shoveling, lack of parking, lack of daylight, lack of warmth, and the general fatigue and malaise induced by constantly having to spend half an hour putting on layers of clothes to go outside, and another half an hour taking them off when we come inside. There’s also hat head and/or static electricity.
Can we ship some of our snow to drought-ridden California? I’d be more than happy to stuff some into a Tyvek envelope and send it over.
This is what our deck furniture looked like during the blizzard on Wednesday. Hmm. I guess the cursed groundhog saw his shadow the day before. Evil creature! Vile vermin! (Maybe a groundhog can’t be vermin? Too big???) Speaking of groundhogs…LOOK WHAT MY SON MADE THIS WEEK AT SCHOOL:
I might have to keep this FOREVER. I assumed that this was a popsicle. I was told that this was not the case, and that this is obviously a groundhog.
Oh. That clears everything up. I think that the background paper should have been white, not green, just for the sake of accuracy. (Actually, I should think that at the current temperature outside, all groundhogs are kind of like popsicles, right?) Please excuse my blurry image, but THERE ISN’T ENOUGH LIGHT in the dead of winter to take an indoor photo.
Tonight, I am going to the opening reception of a group show that I’m in. It’s being held at the Motherbrook Arts Center in Dedham. I’m looking forward to seeing the work of the other artists!
I may have to gear up my team of sled dogs to get over there. I wonder if I can go through EZ Pass lane on the Mass Pike with sled dogs? Stopping to pick up a ticket will really slow me down.
Can I at least go in the carpool lane? No?
Besides complaining about the snow and doing rainbow loom nonsense with my son, ad infinitum…I also finished up that little quilt that I was working on:
Kind of cute, right? The back:
Now that I look at it again…those scallop shapes are starting to look like groundhogs to me.
Hmm. Maybe I need some fresh air? I may have to put myself in a Tyvek envelope to be mailed to California…it’s warm there, right? I’ll say “hi” to the California raisins for you…
Filed under: Drawing, Fleeting thoughts..., Sewing, textile forms | Tags: art, boston, Bromfield Gallery, Color, drawing, quilt, quilting
Where have I been??? What have I been doing??? Honestly…I have no idea. I was SUPPOSED to post last week, but my beloved child was home with a fever. We were all pretty much sick, and my husband is still on the mend. DRAMA.
You know that it has been cold when 14 degrees Fahrenheit feels not so bad. I’ve been wearing the same, over-sized wool sweater for what is likely a month. I didn’t wear it today, as I had to meet with a museum curator…and I didn’t want to potentially offend her high aesthetic standards with my Sasquatch-like appearance. How cold does it have to get for all standards of appearance to be eliminated in favor of comfort? Clearly, that bar is never very high in my world. I’m always wearing some kind of sad, D.I.Y. project. It’s funny that after YEARS of being an architect, where we are trained (brainwashed?) to avoid color in favor of black, gray and white…my D.I.Y. projects are always crazy colorful. I often think that my aesthetic sensibilities actually haven’t changed since I was seven years old, which is kind of sad…as I dressed kind of weird as a kid. Things haven’t changed, I guess…
I finished up a knitting project recently:
That’s the front…here is the back:
Kind of neat, right? I can’t take credit for the pattern…even though I changed the neckline…the cuffs…the length, etc. This is not the sweater that I’ve been wearing for the past month. The sweater that I’ve had on is more like a wool mu-mu. This week, I realized why I can’t move somewhere warm…I’d have no reason to knit.
I’m totally serious.
You’re likely wondering when I’ll stop yammering about my technicolor craft projects, and move onto something more interesting. Well, your wait is over!
My friend, Helen, has her work up at one of the well-known Boston galleries…
Here is the description of the installation:
An installation on bathroom tiles where drawings make visceral vignettes, showing moments ranging from giving birth to getting booked. A shape-shifting protagonist emerges from the tiles. She morphs in time and race and limps along at odds with expectations but at one with viscera.
“Here I Sit, Brokenhearted” is about the ill fit of the body and how our most private moments can play out in the public sphere.
Helen beautifully elucidates aspects of humanity (primarily vices and viscera) that are typically hidden. Her work is both sensitive and bold. Helen’s drawing fluency is as compelling as her chosen subjects. Please check out her installation at Bromfield. It will be up for a few months…but don’t procrastinate! Go see it! If you see something that looks kind of like Sasquatch at the gallery, come over and say, “hi.” It’s probably me.
I’ve been sidetracked on a quilt project that I’ve been meaning to do for AGES. Yes, I said “a quilt.” Yes, I know that I’m supposed to be focusing on art, but as I just said…I’ve been getting a bit sidetracked as of late…
Sewing curves is challenging…so I decided to put myself in circle boot-camp by doing this koo koo quilt. So far, it has been super fun…albeit a royal pain in the tush. This is a mini-quilt…so the width is around 32″ or so. Each of those little scallop shapes is probably 4″ wide. In doing this quilt, I learned why people don’t normally use linen-type fabric for quilts (which I did.) The weave of linen is so wide that it’s like trying to sew a piece of friggin’ GAUZE.
Okay, well not quite THAT bad…but almost that bad. I fear that this quilt can never set foot in a washing machine, lest I want the thing to turn into a huge blob of colorful thread. Kind of like this, but made out of thread:
Do you know that’s actually a creature called a “blob fish?” I kid you not.
Sigh. I always have to learn things the hard way. At least I can sew a half-decent circle now, in spite of the fact that I look like Sasquatch.
Speaking of blobs, did you read about that recent study that says that sitting too much will pretty much kill you??? WHA? HOW? WHO? I have pretty much sat through my entire adult life. Besides pulling all nighters at school and at work, where I was SUPPOSED to be sleeping but was just deliriously SITTING instead…all of my favorite hobbies and activities involve SITTING. Can I possibly knit whilst hopping around? Can I somehow read AND do jumping jacks? How about sewing and yoga? Quilting and Tae Bo? No?
Upon hearing the bad news about sitting, I promptly slid down within my enormous wool sweater and pouted like that hideous blob fish.
I’m waiting for the study to come out that says sedentary craft activities are actually good for everyone’s health because they keep mommy happy. And we know what a maelstrom of discontent mommy can be when she’s NOT HAPPY…
Be thankful that you don’t live with me.
Filed under: textile forms | Tags: art, decordova, fabric, laura sapelly, sculpture, textile
Hello all! I’m just including some photos of my creations from my class, Textile Forms, at the Decordova. The teacher was Laura Sapelly. SUCH AN AMAZING CLASS! My classmates were an INCREDIBLE group of women…I hope that I can keep in touch with them somehow…they were all so inspiring.
I was the only one in the class that wasn’t an official “artist”. Everyone was so kind and supportive. SO different than architecture school…a place where they want to break you in, break you down, break your work. You can’t get too attached to your work in architecture school. Critics see no problem in scribbling on your drawings, ripping pieces off of models, and tearing your design to shreds, if they so desire. I kind of got used to that hyper-critical world. I found that in my first job, I sort of came on a bit too strong with my opinions. This is a result of being under attack for the past 7 years in school, and needing to constantly stand my ground. I know…it isn’t fair to compare architecture grad/undergrad to an art class. I’m sure that fine arts programs can be just as grueling. I just mean that it was SO wonderful to be in a supportive environment where experimentation was the goal…not perfection. It was amazing to just to let go and see where the material took me. No, I’m not necessarily thrilled with my work. However, I did learn a tremendous amount, just from the few classes that we had.
I’m kind of in recovery mode, from so many years as an architect. Every day was a battle of sorts…a struggle to make it all happen, make it all work, and make it all wonderful. I’m exhausted just thinking about it. Don’t get me wrong…I still love architecture. I just have to take a break from it for awhile…breathe a little…relax…make something messy and spontaneous…and try not to immediately criticize/hate everything that I do.
Hmmm…time for some tea and something sugary! I have such a sweet tooth…