Wednesday, January 27, 2016

A little snow didn't stop the women in the Senate ...

I saw this from the Washington Post and I just needed to share ... 

©virginiafitzgerald 2013 ... dailydress series

in post-blizzard D.C. it seems as though only women made the effort to go to work?!?! 

“Something is genuinely different — and something is genuinely fabulous,” Murkowski said."

Click on the title of the article to go the Washington Post's site or you can read the article below.  I felt this was a very telling event and should be celebrated and shared.

Women don't let a blizzard stop them from doing what needs to be done!!!

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) noted that only women turned up to run the Senate Jan. 26, following a weekend blizzard that brought D.C. to a standstill. (C-SPAN)

Something was a little different in the Senate on Tuesday morning. And Sen. Lisa Murkowski noticed it.
The Alaska Republican was one of only a few lawmakers in the Capitol building following the weekend blizzard, and it was her job to handle the formalities of delaying Senate business until her colleagues could get back to work. After finishing a bit of parliamentary business, she described what she saw in the ornate chamber.
“As we convene this morning, you look around the chamber, the presiding officer is female. All of our parliamentarians are female. Our floor managers are female. All of our pages are female.”
Murkowski noted that she and Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), who was wielding the Senate gavel, hadn’t planned the all-women session. It was, she said, just a coincidence.
“Something is genuinely different — and something is genuinely fabulous,” Murkowski said.
She theorized that the lack of men in the ranks of members and staffers might not have been a simple fluke. “Perhaps it speaks to the hardiness of women,” she added, “that put on your boots and put your hat on and get out and slog through the mess that’s out there.”

Sunday, January 10, 2016

the bustier is leaving the building ... the story behind the first eggshell dress

'eggshell dress ...' (2008)
me, removing my 'eggshell bustier...' from Renew Arts & Industry ...
the beginning .....
Just a few of the headlines from April 2007:
  • College Student Guns Down Dozens in Virginia (April 16): Male student kills two in a Virginia Tech dorm. Two hours later, he kills 30 more in a classroom building before committing suicide. The shooting rampage is the most deadly in U.S. history. Fifteen others are wounded.
  • Supreme Court Upholds Ban on Abortion Procedure (April 18): The ruling, 5–4, which upholds the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act, a federal law passed in 2003, is the first to ban a specific type of abortion procedure. Writing in the majority opinion, Justice Anthony Kennedy said, "The act expresses respect for the dignity of human life."Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who dissents, called the decision "alarming" and said it is "so at odds with our jurisprudence" that it "should not have staying power."
  • Earthquake and Tsunami Strike the Solomon Islands (April 3): Magnitude 8.0 earthquake and tsunami that follows kill at least 20 people and destroy villages.
  • U.S. Squadron Hit by Suicide Bombers in Iraq (April 24): Nine U.S. soldiers are killed and at least 20 are wounded by two bombers attacking an American post in Diyala.
  • Bombs Kill Nearly 200 in Baghdad (April 18): Five bombs targeting Shiite neighborhoods ravage the Iraqi capital in the worst violence in weeks. One bomb alone kills about 140 in Sadr City area.
  • Bombs Kill Dozens in Algeria (April 11): Some 35 people are killed and hundreds are wounded when suicide bombers attack a government building in the capital, Algiers, and a police station on the outskirts of the capital. Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb claims responsibility for the attack.

It was April 2007 .... the Iraq war was a never ending quagmire, Mother Nature was making herself heard with Tsunamis, snow storms and tornados, taking lives and property, a male student went on a shooting spree on a collage campus and a good friend's marriage abruptly ended.               In April of 2007 I was feeling the fragility and pain of life quite clearly.  

As a way to deal with the overwhelming sense of loss and helplessness I headed to my studio.  
I had been collecting eggshells from my house and my neighbors, knowing  that they would be a beautiful and poignant material in which to create a dress, therefore I had a good collection of eggshells at my disposal. So as a way to center myself amongst all the craziness going in the world, I grabbed my eggshells and my hot glue gun and began building. I still remember thinking that the hot glue was so messy compared to the delicateness and fragility of the eggshells, but that dichotomy was appropriate for how I was feeling.

That first day of building was cathartic, I just grab whatever shell that was closest, I didn't think.   I didn't care if it was brown or white eggshell, I just needed to build something.  However the next day when I returned to my studio I was put off by the randomness of the colors of the shells; I didn't like it.  Yet I didn't want to start again,  I wanted to honor how the dress began. So to 'compromise' I started covering both the brown and white shells with smaller pieces of the opposite color shell, as a way of blending the two colors.  
And as happens so many times with my 'dressproject', my solution to camouflage the different color shells not only succeeded, but it also visually suggested lace.  I loved this suggestion but I had NOT planned it. This is the beautiful serendipity found in my 'dressproject'.

I continued to build the dress, embracing the messiness of the hot glue, using the ever-present wisps of hot glue to suggest dripping whites of the eggs.  While making this sculpture I needed to learn patience and mindfulness.  I learned the hard way not to just yank the hot glue gun's cord out of the wall, as it could and did go flying into the eggshell dress (clean up aisle 3).

Once the dress was finished I had the opportunity to exhibit it at the Natick Collection and the Arsenal Center for the Arts in Watertown, MA, 
the 'dressproject' at the Natick Collection, Natick, MA (2008)
where it got much attention ... 'look, those are eggshells?!?!?'

at the Arsenal Center for the Arts, Watertown, MA (2008)
Unfortunately, even with a well thought-out and throughly cushioned mode of transport, the traveling was too much for the sculpture and once she returned from Watertown, she succumbed to gravity.

It was odd because the dress didn't break in transit.  It was a day or so after returning from Watertown. 

I was in my studio when I heard a very soft crinkling sound, almost undetectable.  I stopped what I was doing to investigate.  At this time my studio had a leaky ceiling and possible rodent residences, so I wanted to see what was making this sound.

As I walked around my studio, ears straining, I realized that the sound was coming from my eggshell dress?!?! As I got closer to the sculpture I understood that it was crumbling and there was nothing I could do about it.  I tried to save it but only was able to salvage the top ...


But there was much I loved about this sculpture ~ the patterning created by the mosaic of eggshell, the beauty of the eggshells themselves and most of all, I wanted to honor the 'place' from where the piece started, it was a physical expression of how crazy fragile life was. 
So instead of scrapping the entire piece, I created the 'eggshell bustier ...' which I exhibited at my solo shows at the Dana Hall School, 2008 and the Holliston High School, 2009, before in took up residency in the offices of One80Visuals/ Renew Arts and Industry, Natick, MA.

There, the 'eggshell bustier ...'  stayed, quietly crumbling, until last Friday when I gingerly removed it. I was pleasantly surprised how the piece still had some integrity and I was able to transfer it into a bin in one piece.  And today, as my daughter Harriet spied it in the backseat of my car, she insisted that I salvage the eggshell dress/bustier yet again because, "it has been so many places."

'this comes from with ...' (2009)
Medicine Wheel Productions, Boston, MA

So we will see where the bustier will go from here, but it did inspire my room installation/environment, 'this comes from within ...' which is a very good thing....