Friday, January 09, 2015

In Box CLXXI and getting ready for a sesquicentennial

(Above:  Detail of In Box CLXXI.  Click on any image to enlarge.)

The past month has been busy.  Steve and I went to London to watch our son Mathias Lenz Dingman guest dance as the Nutcracker prince for English National Ballet.  We both ended up sick with sinus issues and plenty of deep coughing that had us popping pills for over a week. We visited my parents in Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania for New Years.  Back home, our beloved cat Max ended up ill at the Cat Clinic.  Who knew cats could contract pancreatitis? While almost everyone I know gained weight over the holidays, Max lost TWO POUNDS, which is quite a lot for a cat.  He's now on the mend and has a check-up at the veterinarian's office today at 3 PM.  In the mean time, I had my annual mammogram and check-up, discovered I haven't had a bone density test in five years (one is scheduled for Monday), and donated platelets at the American Red Cross.  For me, this past month has included more medical attention than most any year in my past!  Yet, I'm still working!  In Box CLXXI was finished and will be headed to the ACC (American Craft Council) show next month!

(Above:  In Box CLXXI. Inventory # 3336. Framed: 33 1/2" x 21 1/2". $525.)

Truthfully, I've gotten a lot of other work finished but am simply not in a position to share it quite yet.  Why?  Well, the resident artists at Gallery 80808/Vista Studios are planning an unusual exhibition for the coming spring's Artista Vista gallery crawl.  It is called "The Gossip Game".  A curator at the Columbia Museum of Art selected an artwork for the permanent collection and showed it to the first artist on our list.  She created a work based on her impression of the museum's piece.  She passed her artwork to the next artist on the list.  No one gets to see anything except the art created by the person immediately ahead on the list.  December was "my month".  I receive a painting on paper from Laurie MacIntosh.  I made an art quilt ... which has just been passed on to my mentor, Stephen Chesley.  So ... stay tuned! 

(Above:  Detail of In Box CLXXI including my signature block.)

 (Above:  Twenty-four strands of waxed linen thread onto which bolls of cotton have been stitched ... suspended from the rafters in the atrium at Gallery 80808/Vista studio ... with the lower third being spray-painted black.)

I also finished stitching bolls of hand-picked cotton onto seventy-two, 16' in length, strands of waxed linen thread.  I picked the cotton last fall.  The bolls are stitched every eight to twelve inches apart.  Each strand took approximately a half-hour to stitch.  The storage and transportation system is unique, to say the least.  (Each length is carefully wrapped around 60" x 40", half-inch thick, foam-centered board.)  Bolls of cotton want to snag anything they come into contact with and tangle very easily.  Last Sunday I hung three groups of twenty-four strands from the rafters at Gallery 80808/Vista Studio and spray-painted the lower third black.  This is to resemble the "burning of Columbia".  The exercise of going up and down the ladder 144+ times proved that I am "old".  I felt it for two days! LOL!  Yet, it was important.  More than just coloring the lower third, the day taught me exactly how to work with these strings.  I feel ready to install them at the Tapps Art Center for next month's Art from the Ashes exhibition!  This is one of the city's events commemorating the sesquicentennial of William T. Sherman's Civil War burning of Columbia.  It is being sponsored by Jasper Magazine and Muddy Ford Press who are also publishing a literary volume with pieces by local poets and writers.   

I am linking this post to Nina-Marie's "Off the Wall Fridays", a site for sharing fiber art.


Mosaic Magpie said...

The "Gossip" project sounds very interesting. I wonder how different the message will be from the beginning to the end. Always inspiring to visit you!

Shannon said...

I agree with the previous commenter! I love the sound of the gossip project. Do you know if there will be an online component of the exhibit for those unable to visit in person?

Wanda said...

I'm sorry to hear that you've had lots of doctor appointments recently. Well, now they are over with and you can get on with what you want to do. Hope Max is better and hope you and Steve are both 100% fit now (not necessarily in that order). I tend to neglect the things you take care of (medically speaking) but I have lots and lots of appointments...all teeth related. Fun fun Anyway..looking forward to "The Gossip Game" and I'm fascinated with how the strands of waxed linen thread are suspended. It looks awesome just as it is pictured already!

Teresa Duryea Wong said...

Your new work is stunning as usual. But the thread installation and all that cotton - hand picked??? Really very cool. Hope both you and the cat are feeling better.