Tuesday, November 16, 2010

" I really look at my childhood as being one giant rusty tuna can that I continue to recycle in many different shapes. "

 " I really look at my childhood as being one giant rusty tuna can that I continue to recycle in many different shapes. "

Augusten Burroughs

You ever just know there is someplace you really belong ??? 
When I read the prospectus for the
Opening November 19th - January 23, 2011 at the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts
I felt in my bones this is a show where my art work truly belonged.

 "Many artists today specialize in using recycled materials exclusively to create amazing work. The term ‘cycle’ can also apply to the creative process as well. Not only can materials of all kinds be recycled, but also the processes utilized to transform them. In recycling, we not only refer to a discarded item reused--the cycle of materials--but to the cycle of the process, the cycle of creating and the cycle of ideas that goes into the creative fiber process. There are many techniques that can be re-cycled and applied to new materials in a traditional way. The outcome is often fresh and inspired.

You are welcome to use the traditional approach to the theme and find some new way to use something old or what might but considered as garbage. Perhaps you would rather look for a more unusual focus and consider the 'cycle' portion of the theme. The word has many connotations. You might want to consider the process or techniques as a cycle or try recycling them!"

Growing Better with Experience 2009
hand knitted steel wire, paper pulp and rust

This work began as a vision in my head while I was studying in the Graduate Program @ Savannah College of Art and Design.
I was in a fiber program with students between the ages of 21 and 29. For some reason unknown to me instead of taking advantage of the wonderful weaving and computer aided design classes all the young women seemed to thrive in I was making an in depth study of myself, my life, where I had been, where was I going to go from here...
Being the only mature student ( aka 52 years old ) among a group of young women accentuated my point of view on life.  Many of them were so full of hopes and dreams, some were in graduate school because they were really good at being students. They used to tell me to stay there for three years because going out into the "real world" is scary. 
My answer to the girls was, "No, the real world is FUN jump in and you will see."  
The real world is FUN. Growing older can be FUN and SCARY at the same time.  When I began this piece it was concentric circles of knitted steel wire.  At the same time I was making stacks of paper in my apartment studio for another project.  One day I wondered what would happen if I coated the steel wire with the paper pulp ???
A beautiful rust shade, rather similar to my strawberry blond hair, began to appear. 
It was then that I Christened this piece, Growing Better with Experience.
Like a woman and fine wine the aging process definitely added interest to the pristine, newly knitted wire circles ;~)

Better with Experience  detail

Graduate school was nothing like I had romanticised the experience to be.  I imagined graduate students and I engaging in long philosophical talks about life and art. Instead, everyone was so stressed to fulfill reading and art assignments they had little time or interest to talk with me about art. 
" Carol, we don't know what we are doing ourselves, we have no time to talk with you." was the answer I received all too often.

Fortunately, Barry, Kara and Jim were used to the lengthy conversation that made my eyes dance as I spoke about art.  Over the cell phone, from New York State, they obligingly placated poor, tortured, graduate student, mother with their insight and reactions to my artistic explorations. 
Eventually, from long distant conversation with Kara, I came to see the myself as a pine cone. 

A cone (in formal botanical usage: strobilus, plural strobili) is an organ on plants in the division Pinophyta (conifers) that contains the reproductive structures. The familiar woody cone is the female cone, which produces seeds. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conifer_cone

Included among my favorite things I packed for graduate school was the Wollemi Pine tree my brother Fred sent as a present for my 50th birthday.  
I laughed at the joke when I opened the gift. " A fossil tree for an old fossil, me ;~) "   http://www.wollemipine.com/watch/issue_12.php

From exploring pine cones I went on to research "Fibonacci Numbers in Nature". 
That is pretty much the way it went for me in graduate school; researching one interesting fact leads to another until I was exponentially growing all over place ;~) 

Took My Breath Away  2010
mixed media
bell jar, mask made from used coffee filters, bees wax, down feathers from my pillow, steel wire braided, paper pulp, rust, my hair and a skeleton key

This piece I created after much reflection on some relationships in my life. 
 Relationships can either Take My Breath Away in a good way

 or they can Take My Breath Away - to cause death as in Cease to Breath.
 " The Hebrew Scriptures speak of Yahweh breathing the rua, the breath of life into Adam, symbolism of the mankind. Breath and energy turn up again in the concepts of Chi and in Shamanic spiritual journeying.   So the root meaning of “spirituality” has to do with the Breath of Life. And Evil may have a lot to do with sucking life out. "

It is not possible for a healthy person to voluntarily stop breathing indefinitely. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Breathing

Took My Breath Away  detail
 I believe much more exists than this material world we see with our eyes. 
All is not lost for the woman in this bell jar, the power of the key to escape is within her reach. 
I believe she shall rise again ;~)

Please come to speak with me at Friday evening
November 19th, 2010
 Opening Reception: GALLERIES & HOLIDAY SHOP

2010 Artist of the Year, Brian Dean Richmond

Things That Float, Gregory Witt, 2010 Emerging Artist of the Year

Recycle.fiber, presented by The Fiberarts Guild of Pittsburgh, Inc
Holiday Shop
Where Marshall Building,
6300 Fifth Avenue,
Pittsburgh, PA 15232

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