...or tries to...

Saturday, November 27, 2010

New Fibers 2010

This comes under the Shameless Self-Promotion catagory, of course, but it's also a shout-out to the Fiber Arts Network of Michigan (FAN), Eastern Michigan University, and the Ann Arbor Fiber Arts Guild. Until December 10, my Red Blooming Biotope is part of the show, New Fibers 2010, at the University Gallery in Ypsilanti, Michigan, and it's been a wonderful thing to be a part of. Not only do I get to participate, I was given the Second Place prize by juror Tracy Krumm, and featured on the invitation postcard. I wasn't able to see the show in person, but based on the catalog they sent me, I'm in company with outstandingly skilled and imaginative artists, truly exploring the potential of a media choice that has been historically marginalized, until recently. According to Michele Fricke, writing in the catalog,

"Fiber is a field of art-making as old as painting or sculpture and is equally steeped in tradition. However most art history courses touch only briefly on the history of textiles, if they mention it at all, in part because of the ephemerality of materials. It is further marginalized by the perception of fibers as 'women's work', reductive arguments about craft (which are happily shifting), and the perception held by many that fiber artists are all about the materials and techniques to the detriment of content."

Thankfully, because of shows like New Fiber, I'm challenged less and less on the value of my choices, and encouraged beyond words by their sensitivity towards the balance of intimate labor and thought that animates the best fiber art I see out there.

The greatest blog to celebrate the diverse and intense vocabulary of fiber-based work is artist Lorraine Glessner's oh what a world, what a world, (the poor Wicked Witch's next to last words before she melted away into a pile of resentful steaming black muslin). It's an encyclopedia of what's going on out there, and what the wonderful Lorraine herself is creating-


Monday, November 22, 2010

Green November

In my mind, November is, and might always be, the memory of a Thanksgiving visiting friends in a town along the New York side of the Hudson River. A beautiful day through the car windows, with that low, thin winter sunlight, black tree branches scratching the white sky, the slate gray river passing down below. We were early and stopped the car on the shore for a little while-we had to press our shoulders against the car doors to open them against the wind. It ripped our coats open, shoved us deeper into the park than we wanted to go, jerked our hats sideways, smacked our cheeks. We lasted ten minutes, November slamming the doors shut for us as we stumbled back in.

Here in Florida, November opens windows, moves the trees just a little, like off-hand, gentle "hellos". The low sun lights up leaves, idling there calmly. The air steps back, doesn't drop on you like the heat of spring and summer and half of fall. It's still. After eleven years, still new, and strange. And green, very green.

Monday, November 1, 2010

The Solomon

The amazing Solomon, shape shifter.
A living Franz Kline painting, though in real life he would never be an action painting. A still life, maybe. He's still. He thinks about things. He mulls and considers. He watches his young tabby roommate Oliver chase a red laser dot around the house but shows no interest. Why? It's a red laser dot. Can't eat it, can't maul it, can't kill it. What's the point, then?

Last month I was away from home for the first time in a long time, 11 hours drive north on a mountain, (of course), and I got a call from my vet. They felt something in his abdomen. You never want to hear any conversation start that way, in any way, about anyone you know.

So Solomon did have an operation, and he does have cancer. But the operation was a success, with nothing else compromised as far as they could see. It seems impossible that he be this healthy with it in an intermediate stage, it seems unlikely he would be this hungry and this content. Right now he's acting younger than he has for years, he's hungrier than he's ever been, he smacks right back when his roommate Oliver jumps him from above. He's Solomon, right now and for as long as mystery and the unknown remains mysterious and unknown. And that works for me.