Slow Art

June 11, 2012

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As I have been working on the most recent 3-D piece the notion of “Slow Art” (akin to the Slow Food Movement) has arisen frequently in my thoughts. The current piece is extremely labor intensive. I knew before I started that it would be, but the approach seemed like the right – no, the necessary – thing to do. Somehow, I am not the one in charge here. The piece involves collecting true short stories and anecdotes from friends and relatives, copying them on lokta paper, rinsing the paper to fade the ink, layering two sheets together, tearing the pages in strips of appropriate width, stitching them together, and folding them accordion-style. That is what you see in the image above. When that long accordion is complete, it will be put in a found box by threading it on a rod. Well, that is difficult to describe, so I will post an image when it is finished. For now, I am so very grateful to all those who have entrusted me with their stories, and I love the way that the story gathering has changed the piece and given it a collective history of people and stories around the world. The project has changed me and, seemingly, made a difference to many of the participants. So, perhaps “Slow Art” is a sort of cousin to “Slow Food”…

Rehab

April 22, 2012

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There is a curious phenomenon that often occurs in the creative process. Sometimes there are pieces that I can’t begin, because I don’t know what they are about. But I can’t know what they are about until I begin. So there is nothing to do but stumble along… and pay attention. Creativity can be messy and uncomfortable. I often think that I would like to be comfortable in my work and feel as though I know what I am doing, but the truth is, I think it is even more frightening to imagine that I might ever reach that place!

I am currently working on some three dimensional pieces in preparation for a group show in September. When I began this work, I slammed into that curious conundrum of beginning. This image is a bit from the first piece that has put itself together. One layer that you see here is a stack of old journal pages that I “rehabbed” by gessoing both sides. I like the white, imperfect surface that results as well as the idea of writing that can’t  be read (something which occurs in another part of this piece). I will post more bits as I can along the way.

And if you are interested in thoughts on creativity, Elizabeth Gilbert gives a great TED talk on the subject.