Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The Wall of Ancestors and Threads, Gathering My Thoughts ... before Barcelona!

(Above: The Wall of Ancestors. Installation of 127 framed, anonymous photos. Images are collaged with letters clipped from vintage sheet music and books with phrases that relate to the passage of time, memory, and suggestions of possible lives for those depicted. Click on any image in this blog post to enlarge.)

The past few days have been a whirlwind of activity. Steve and I went to Washington, DC over the weekend. We delivered a large “Stained Glass” fiber piece to a couple who had seen my work at the ACC (American Craft Council) Show in Baltimore last February. We also delivered My Bluegrass Roots III to a nice lady in Takoma Park. I love selling art work! Yet, our main reason for the trip was to see ABT's (American Ballet Theater's) performance of Don Quixote. It was fantastic!

(Above: The Wall of Ancestors, detail.)

During the drive, I got an email from the owner of Earthwood Gallery and Earthwood Collections in Colorado … placing a rather significant order for both locations! I was ecstatic but nervous. Serendipitously, I had almost everything needed under construction but time was a factor. Why? Well, Steve and I are now on our way to Barcelona!  (I'm blogging from JFK Airport in NYC!) We cashed in our $1000 travel vouchers from Delta for this great opportunity. (We got the travel vouchers after volunteering to “be bumped” on our return flight from England last December.) So … I had just two days to complete the orders.

(Above: The Wall of Ancestors, before the installation started.)

Of course, I already had a jam packed schedule for those two days. I had TWO installations to install! So, on Monday night, I welded my hammer and hung all 127 pieces of The Wall of Ancestors.

(Above: The Wall of Ancestors, after the installation was completed … three hours later!)

The Wall of Ancestors is my contribution to the group exhibit at Gallery 80808/Vista Studios for the annual Artista Vista art crawl in downtown Columbia. The show is called “Say Something” and includes work by all thirteen artists with studio space in the building.

I'm elated with how my work looks, how it feels, and by the impact it will undoubtedly make to people attending. There's just no way to stand in front of so many framed photos, read the collaged messages, and not feel the sense of time that is evoked. All these images came from Bill Mishoe's auction … except for a couple … including …

(Above: I Had a Dream Too, The Wall of Ancestors Series. Framed: 14” x 12”. Original reverse painted glass mat, hand-tinted photo, collage of letters clipped from vintage sheet music and books.)

… and …

(Above: I Had to Ride on the Back of the Bus, The Wall of Ancestors Series. Framed: 14” x 12”. Original reverse painted glass mat, sepia toned photo, collage of letters clipped from vintage sheet music and books.)

These two pictures were donated to me by Vennie Deas Moore. I am so grateful because they bring a balance to the collection, a different point of view, and different pasts. I only received these two pieces on Monday … and immediately did the collage work and framing … in order to hang them later that night.

(Above:  South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley addressing the Chamber of Commerce over breakfast at the airport.)

The next morning (yesterday … the day before going to Spain … aka “Tuesday”) started with a 7 AM breakfast hosted by the Chamber of Commerce at the Columbia International Airport. Even Governor Nikki Haley came and spoke to the assembled crowd. Why was I there? Well, the Richland and Lexington County Cultural Council just initiated a new program for 2D and 3D artwork to be on rotation at the airport.  Selected artists were invited to attend and show a piece of their artwork.  It was fun!

(Above:  Dual, locked showcases at the Columbia International Airport ... where my work will be featured this coming September and October!)

I'll have a collection of fiber vessels filled with wrapped-and-stitched spools, other fiber vessels, and small sculptural pieces in this double, locked showcase! When? Next September through October.

(Above: Threads: Gathering My Thoughts at Studio Cellar for Artista Vista.)
By Tuesday afternoon, I was hard at work getting ready for the next installation. Threads: Gathering My Thoughts took about three hours to complete. During the first hour, I was busy on the ladder, attaching screw-eyes to the wooden ceiling for lengths of wire … on which I hung the three dozen assorted baskets. Originally, I thought I had too many. I've generally had this sort of impression before my first installation. It is almost always incorrect. I had just enough! So … in September … when I mount an even larger version of this installation at Gallery 80808/Vista Studios, I will need at least twice the number of baskets.

I knew I had more than enough thread … but … for the larger installation in September, I will need even more. Making my vision a reality always seems to require even more material than originally planned. It is simply amazing how big a pile looks on my living room floor and how small it looks when on site!

This is Charlotte Lindsay, the owner of Studio Cellar. She'll be showing off her new business and my installation for the next week … including Thursday night's Artista Vista opening. Hopefully many people will stop by to see all these threads … especially since Wade Sellers of Coal Powered Filmworks made this great video!  CLICK HERE to see it!  (Okay ... I was interviewed AFTER three hours on a ladder and playing with baskets and a mountain of thread!  My hair is a wreck ... but I'm happy with the video nonetheless!)

Obviously, I'm missing the Artista Vista opening. I'm also missing Friday night's opening of ArtFields in Lake City where my Grid of Photos is hanging. Hard to imagine! Three installations mounted inside of eight days … and I'm missing the openings! Oh well … Barcelona is calling!

Between these installations, my “day job” custom picture framing, packing for Spain, and everything else in life …. I did manage to finish all the work for the two galleries in Colorado. The only thing that didn't happen was snapping photos of the “new work” for this blog. Suffice it to say, four new “small” In Box pieces, two Lancet Windows and two, small “Windows” were finished, framed, packaged, and shipped!

(Above:  Lancet Window headed to Colorado.  Unframed:  27" x 7".  Framed:  31 1/4" x 11 1/4".)

I only took this photo of one of two Lancet Windows …


and this one of half of the orders before shipping!

Next stop … BARCELONA!!!

Update:  Barcelona is FANTASTIC and will blog about it sometime next week ... after I return.  Currently, Steve and I are staying in a great apartment inside of about 100 yards from Gaudi's famous Sagrada Familia Church where I'm now linking this post to Nina-Marie's "Off the Wall Fridays", a site for sharing fiber arts. 


dina o'sullivan said...

Why do you do this basket thing with all the threads when you are such a fine stitcher? Dina O'Sullivan

SONYASPHERE said... you have time to pee...or do you save that for when you are on the plane? Have a super trip...excited to read all about it! Miss you!

SONYASPHERE said... you have time to pee...or do you save that for when you are on the plane? Have a super trip...excited to read all about it! Miss you!

jeanne hewell-chambers said...

I've said it before, and I'm saying it again: I love the way you see the world, and I also (and especially) love how you put your head down and get 'er done. Hope you slept on the plane.

Wanda said...

The Wall of Ancestors really does look fantastic. It pulls them all together. I really love it. I like the two donated pictures as well. Yes, they are different and yet, the same. Gathering My Thoughts is so cool! That is definitely something that I couldn't even imagine! I am sure you are enjoying Barcelona and doing it like only you can do!! Hope the weather is nice!

Linda Laird said...

Dear Susan,
It was nice to see you sort of live and in person! "Threads" will be even more involving on a larger scale. Will it be big enough to walk thru? "Ancestors" and the Photo Grid piece are amazing, too. I'm still thinking about your comments on my "Take What You Like" piece, and am slowly working on ideas to complete it. Have a wonderful time in Spain!
Linda Laird