Monday, March 29, 2010

Ah, life and death. Just a breath away from each other.

I had begun the project full of life. Death was in the distance.

When my son called the day after these photos were taken I knew the winds had shifted.

I now must continue this project without my warrior at my side. Rich has also departed. Yet for them I will continue as I can, when I can, with their spirit surrounding me and guiding me on.

The morning after Patty and I worked and played in that sanctuary I was back with another dear friend Shiela. We had a nice long walked. The weather had shifted. A storm was brewing. We were still in the balance between winter and her time of death. It was still cold. There had just been that brief break in the storm but now it was back to winter's business. New life and spring were far off again.
I was still keen about more work with my textiles outside and finding the right barns for installation. I was getting great encouragement from Ian, Rich and Patty. Meeka also wanted to participate. I finally had an idea that I believed to help show the beauty in the broken down barns, the beauty of the aged, the beauty of the end of the years, the beauty of a certain type of death and ending that comes to histories. There was a poetry there I hoped to find and exhibit.
A marriage of fiber and natures wood whether natural or turned. And the relationship between abstract and realism. And most importantly the dance between new and old / life and death.
A balance of so many thoughts that run through my mind.

Patty and I were paying with the fiber. I was trying to get a sense of fiber against fiber. How was the tone and texture outside? Had I chosen the right material. Should I try to procure some more next time I went south to the city?
During this exploration I remembered the beautiful photographs of the Native American bodies that were laid to rest, wrapped in cloth and placed up in the branches of beautiful oak like trees. It was a communion of death and nature that had made a big impression on me.
I did not know then how soon death would bring me her own stories. I did not know then that soon I would be offering up my own warrior to the next life.

The project would eventually have a great deal of yardage. Perhaps stretches of 20 yards that would interweave and flow in the midst of the decaying and beautifully aging barns of Humboldt County and rural California. This would be a kinetic sculpture. An installation that moved and worked with the environment to show off the beauty of fiber and form. Perhaps to be documented as ruin continued.

I was beginning the process of taking simple and natural flax fibers woven into a chinese practical textile, scouring it, pleating through heat processes, and using a shibori technique to add color over a spring green dye bath.

It was a crisp and clear day of possibilities and beauty. The geese and other migrating birds were making themselves known. Patty and I were enjoying the winter songs. I was excited to continue on a project that had failed to get funding from a grant I had proposed earlier in the year. I was going to do it anyway... bit by bit.
It involves the marriage of fiber. The meeting of weaving and color. The mixing of historical architecture found and created through the necessity of form as product and tool.

early stages of a new idea / the process begins

There was a beautiful day in early January before the big series of storms hit the east bay of California. I was still in Humboldt County and musing over an idea I had been thinking about since early autumn. Ian was excited about it and my friend Rich was going to help me execute it. Patty was spending the morning at the Wildlife Bird Sanctuary in Loleta helping install the first studies.This project was to help explain to my audience how my work is not so abstract, how it reflects very closely the realism on a tangible level of my textiles within nature.