This entry is way overdue, yet very timely. This post is about one of my favorite fiber pieces, 'insatiable'. I have mentioned this piece a few times, always planning to write a longer blurb later, however that hasn't happened, as of yet. But today that will all stop!!!
(drum roll please)......introducing 'insatiable'!!!!
'insatiable' is part of my creature series, however this creature has not reached it's critical mass yet, in fact this creature is still growing, consuming most anything green in its path. I exhibit this piece as a performance piece, and actually I will be performing with 'insatiable' tomorrow evening at the opening for the national juried show, Green, at
the Attleboro Arts Museum. click here to link to press release. I am so honored to be a part of this national show and, here is a first for me, I will be receiving one of the six juror's awards!!! The guest juror was Kate McNamara, Director and Chief Curator of the Boston University Art Gallery, and from what I saw when I dropped off 'insatiable,' it looks like she put together a great show!! The show will run from July 6th - August 3rd; opening reception and award ceremony July 6th from 7-9 pm, with live music by Cactus Attack.
As I mentioned, I will be performing 'insatiable' during the opening and hopefully at other scheduled times during the show. I did this during the show “Insatiable: Our Rapacious Appetite for More” @ the Kniznick Gallery at Brandeis University’s Women’s Studies Research Center, this winter. It was a terrific experience ~ as I sat and worked, many people would come and sit
with me and add to the piece. We would sit together crocheting and have wonderful conversations. I also LOVED teaching people how to crochet, 'Virginia style'. I feel as though I am part of a tradition, passing on this treasured passion, since I was taught by fiber artist, Mandy Greer. During my visit to Portland, OR a few years ago, I went to one of Mandy's crochet-a-thon where many gathered to crochet for Mandy's piece “Mater Matrix Mother and Medium”. During the event Mandy taught us novices her style of crocheting and hence, my creatures were born!!
Another intriguing element of 'insatiable' is the materials that i have used. i started with a variety of yarns but soon felt the need to use less traditional crocheting materials, such as gardening twine and gimp. Then I found myself using discarded materials, such as broken headphones, ripped plastic bags and old balloon ribbons with the popped balloon. People can also bring in materials for me to crochet into the piece. At the Brandeis show, during one of my performances a woman brought in her dog and gave him a trim and I crocheted his fur into the piece.
'insatiable' has many elements that gives it intrigue. I have collected so much materials that I know that this creature will be growing for awhile. The last really exciting aspect of 'insatiable' is that I see all my creatures as very organic, almost living. So when my creatures are exhibited I tell the curators to display the creatures however they feel is best for that show, since my creatures can hang on the wall, sit on the floor, perch in a corner like a web, to name a few options. So far all the curators are eager to play. So I can't wait to see how 'insatiable' will be tomorrow.
There is so much about this piece that I am going to include the write-up i submitted with the piece. Some of it maybe repetitive but some will be new and interesting!! Hope to see you att the opening!! peace
‘insatiable’ belongs to a body of work which I call ‘creatures’. In the spring of 2009 I was introduced to crocheting by fiber/ installation artist, Mandy Greer. Then at the end of 2009 I had an accident in which injured my hands and I was not able to do my usual studio work. However, I was able to crochet, and this is when the creature series really began. I call them creatures because each piece has its own personality. Each creature is created in an intuitive process. Each creature defines itself ~ I work in an organic way, adding different yarns and beads as the piece demands. Then each creature is finished when it feels that it has reached its critical mass.
‘insatiable’ is a great example of how the creatures work. I started this creature with the idea that it would be a regularly sized creature, however I was soon aware that this piece had other plans. I started ‘insatiable’ with different green yarns but soon I felt the need to expand my ‘materials’. I started adding more non-traditional materials; garden twine, old balloon ribbons (and the balloons), old electrical cords and broken headphones to name a few. I have cut plastic campaign signs, plastic shopping bags and trash bags into thin strips and crochet the strips into the piece.
As the piece continued to grow and take in more and more materials, ‘insatiable’ became a performance piece. It was clear that this piece/creature was insatiable, never satisfied, always wanting more. When it is shown, if the gallery wants, I come in at scheduled times and ‘feed the beast’ or in other words, crochet more materials onto the piece. During the performances people can bring in any twine-like material in greens or browns and I will add it in. During one show a women brought in her dog and gave him a trim and then gave me the trimming to add to the piece. Also during my performance I will teach anyone who wants how to crochet and they can add their own handiwork to the piece.
The performance element of the work has been very excited ~ besides getting many people evolved an artistic process, I have created a situation evocative of quieter times, when community was formed when women gathered to do their needlework. During my performances the participants quiet from the craziness on their high tech, electronic worlds. They engage with each other and appear to find some solace.
‘insatiable’ speaks to the idea of ‘recycling’ by taking the many materials that people have dismissed or discarded and reusing and incorporating them into the piece. There is a parallel between ‘insatiable’ and a tree. Besides the visual similarity, ‘insatiable’ takes what is discarded and turns it into something beautiful and new, such as a tree takes carbon dioxide and turns it into much needed oxygen.
‘insatiable’ can be exhibited in many different ways ~ it can sit on the floor, on a wall, in a corner or hang from the ceiling. The possibilities are endless. Thank you and peace.