Monday, May 19, 2014

the Deep End

the Deep End
24" x 60"
Yeah!  My work was accepted into this year's Dinner @ Eight exhibit Reflections!  It is quite an amazing line up of quilt artists and I am so honored to be a part of it!
Here's a close up:

I was invited to create a piece for this exhibit with the following notes: 
A mirror image. A response to a thought or word. A memory. What glints back at us as we gaze upon the water. The throwing back by a body or surface of light, heat, or sound without absorbing it.  What will your reflection reveal about you?
I had a lot of ideas.  I had seen many spectacular views while kayaking on Town Lake in Austin, so one day I took my camera with me and captured a few really beautiful scenes:

Really inspiring, right?
However, after taking these photos, I had trouble getting started.  So, I decided to wait and let the right idea come to me.

That's when I went swimming.  I noticed the beautiful gleaming reflections on the under surface of the water.  It was an unusual viewpoint and fascinating.  And, I just love being under water.  It is so quiet there.  The noises of the world are dampened.  It is a great place to just be in the moment and quiet.  The only thing diverting my attention is the need to breathe, and all that focus on breathing pulls me right into the present moment.  A good place to be.  So for me, the under water piece is a reflections of where I am now, another self-portrait, but more subtle.
Here's one of the photos I love.  I got this one while trying to take underwater photos, and was slowing floating upwards when I snapped it:
Almost makes me hold my breath just to look at the picture!  lol!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Crowded House

Crowded House
72" x 72"
for Earth Stories
Premiere at Michigan State University Museum, May 11 - November 30, 2014
I am so honored to be a part of this very meaningful exhibit!  Here is a photo of the completed piece.  You can see the floor plan of my house. final count.

This is yet another example of how the tiny photo on a webpage simply does not do justice to the work.  Sorry about that!

Artist Statement: 
I am inspired by Annie Leonard from the Story of Stuff (see She explains things with animated cartoons in a way that makes sense to me, the average consumer. And she points out how our massive consumerism is not only bad for the economy, it is bad for the planet. I love the way she simplifies the complex systems of manufacturing, marketing, consumers, the economy, and the environment in a way that highlights the problems and points to the solutions.

On a personal level, I have too much stuff. I spend too much time organizing it, or looking for it, or trying to get rid of it. And I am responsible for all of it. I am, however, influenced by my culture and the advertising that surrounds me. I am in conflict because I value a simple lifestyle and yet I have too much stuff. As a measure of the problem, I decided to count all the objects in my house. It took me 6 months. Absolutely the worst project I have EVER dreamed up! The larger piece is called Crowded House, and is a testimony to too much stuff, as it spills out of the confines of the edges of my house. And it has the Number, the humiliating and nauseating Number. The smaller piece is a tribute to a few of the brands of bottled water and the trash resulting from it.

And for the smaller piece:
Manufactured Demand
12" x 14" x 2"
I am unable to attend the opening, but after seeing all the works in the catalog, I sincerely wish that I could.   The collection is simply amazing!