Sunday, February 22, 2009

Art with Social Intent

Ok, so last year I entered one of my Hairlock Paintings in the Bermuda Charman prize competition and the deadline has come around for this year's event! When I received the notice for "calls" to enter, I noticed that this year's criteria had changed. The big change in content was that they were looking for pieces with "social intent".

I hadn't a clue as to what that meant! Thanks to the internet, a short search taught me that they were looking for a piece that would encourage social debate or discussion of a political or governmental nature. Hmmmm.....

More than a year ago, I had created a sketch of a fiber and wire sculpture that I called "The Woven Womb". It was based on a dream or a vision that I had... I can't really remember which. I only remember that I had seen this image in my mind and put it in my sketch book with the idea that some day I would create this sculpture; a hammock like wire armature woven with fiber, holding a fetus....

I had been thinking of this piece recently with the idea that I would create it for my upcoming show at Elliot Gallery in March but when I got the notice of the criteria for the Charman Competition, I immediately thought of my "Woven Womb" and how this could represent a very serious debate of both a political and governmental nature! My original idea for this sculpture though couldn't have been further from the act of abortion. I actually saw it as a representation of life in wire and fiber.

For the purpose of the Charman Competition, I titled the piece "The Woven Womb: Who Should Choose?". It just so happened that the universe had shown me an image that inspired a piece of art that fit the criteria needed for this particular competition! Serendipity!

It is important to note that I do not believe that I would have ever chosen abortion had I been faced with that option, however, I do believe in the right for the individual woman to choose. But, that's not what this piece is meant to say. It is simply meant to offer the idea for a debate as to "who should choose?" Who has the right to make such an important decision for both the mother and the unborn child. I believe that it is a subject that will never be at rest. It is too personal, too viceral, to emotional for any group to ever make a decision one way or the other that will rest into infinitum.

So here is a picture of my sculpture. It was hard for me to get a good image of the work since it is so dimensional, but you will get the idea.... IF you look carefully you will see an umbilical cord floating within the womb that is being threatened by the surgical scissors....

And that's the way it is......

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

My Most Recent Commission!

"Skipper" is a Terrier mixed breed dog which I was asked to do a painting of during the Bermuda Fiber Festival at Kaleidoscope Arts Foundation last December. I have just completed him and am quite pleased with the results!
He will be fitted for a frame today in preperation for hanging in my group show at Elliot Gallery at Kaleidoscope in March.
I have been enjoying the opportunities to create custom commissions of pets. I find the work challenging as well as rewarding and look forward to more work of this kind in the future!
See the side bar for other "pet paintings" that I have created.
Anyone having interest in having a portrait of their pet done in Hairlock Painting can send me an email with a photo of your pet and I will contact you with details of how to proceed.

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Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Kool Aid Dyeing with 5 & 6 yr olds at Kaleidoscope Arts Foundation in Bermuda

My 5 & 6 yr old students had a great time yarn painting this week!
Using the handspun that they did last week and adding some lopi thick and thin, students had a hand at painting their yarns with Kool - Aid!
It was little Maxine who first discovered that the orange placed next to the blue turned a section of her yarn green!
The children were very excited with the transformation of their yarns from the drab white to rainbows of color using what they referred to as "yummy" smelling non toxic dyes.
They each took the strand of yarn in their hands home for show and tell but the remaining yarns are being kept at KAF for safe keeping to be used in a future weaving project! They can't wait!
Next week the children are on winter break but when we resume we begin our weaving segment of the term. Our first project will be fast and fun! We will weave "Mug Rugs" using a small frame loom, colored cotton warps and fabric strips for a quick study on weaving. This class will act as a tutorial for subsequent weaving projects; a woven yarn coil pot and a wire and fiber amulet which they will turn into either a pin or a pendant. It is this project that I plan for them to use their beautiful hand dyed, hand spun yarns!
Watch for more photos of their accomplishments!