Thursday, September 25, 2008


Breathing Room is an installation of 3 or more 6'x6' canvases. Here installed at Taliesin (Spring Green, WI) sewn end to end to make an 18' "scroll" script for breathing. This work originated from my own practice of tactile meditation. I started with simple mark-making on small squares of paper and also thinking of my work as part of my meditation practice. I have trained in breathing and walking meditation, but realized that the tactile quality of art process, usually repetitive for me, is naturally repairing and restive in my life. These posts from November are specifically about that beginning : Sound of Breathing and Assignment. I began to make the large, white gesso and graphite paintings by directly transcribing the letters and syllables of my breathing sound as literally as possible. I planned to make more than one, enough to represent each in a group of people, and to use them as an environmental place setting. Altogether, placed flat on the ground or floor, hung together as walls, or attached end to end as a sort of current or continuum, these paintings are to be installed to create and symbolize a space for rest and freedom from constraint. The idea of "breathing room" as spaciousness, simplicity, and brightness offered to the inhabitant of the space. As much as this work was meditative in process, it has become, in product, a script and a texture for meditation.
Here is a short slide show of the images in the upper room of the tower.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

indicative of invisible change


While speaking with a new friend, Emil Crystal pointed out something with this work that I had not yet interpreted. In desiring to represent a softness or gentleness in moments of transition, I also represent invisible change or invisible borders. Isn't the border between the United States and Mexico invisible? Isn't the border between my race and yours invisible? This work, a collection of felt birds passing through an invisible plane in space upon which the color of their bodies changes from one "side" to the next, expresses a softness and innocence, an inherent goodness that can be brought with us as we transition from one country to another, from one economic status to another, from one emotional state to another, from one community to another, etc., etc.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

anyone else in love with Tara Donovan?

"Tara Donovan makes installations that evoke topographies and natural forms using large quantities of single, simple materials--pencils, straight pins, drinking straws and plastic cups, mylar loops, etc." -Art in America Annual 2008-2009

Monday, September 8, 2008

pattern installation

Yesterday's hard work produced this new PATTERN INSTALLATION at Bradbury's Cafe on North Hamilton St. in Madison Wisconsin. This unique cafe is housed on the first floor of a multistory building and it's seating area is surrounded by tall glass walls and large concrete pillars and beams. There's not much space for art installation, so this idea, materialized while drinking a lovely latte, uses the concrete for what it can offer. The pattern is applied using a slightly darker shade of gray chalk pastel. The potato leaf vines are indicative of the cafe's logo and the flocks of birds are indicative of my own work. I hope you'll stop by the cafe soon to enjoy espresso, local fresh food (crepes - the specialty), and now a modified aesthetic! Thanks is in order for Jill and Josh Makoutz : owners and good people.

Here are some photos of the installation. Check out Flickr to see some of my other recent projects.

Sunday, September 7, 2008


+ 1.

I've been making a flock. There are more to come. See the archive, the month of March, for images and posts about other felted birds that are part of this collection.
This project, like so many of my projects, is as much about repetition as it is about the themes that emerge in process. In discussing this project, I realize that it has begun to express a point of transition (from one color to the next, crossing through an invisible plane in space). The birds' media (felted wool, alpaca, mohair, etc. fibers) indicates a certain softness within the not always gentle experience of change.

So, here we stand in the face of change... I'm grateful for these birds as symbolic vessels of protection, collected like the fibers of a security blanket.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Saskia Jorda

Everyone should know about this artist, my friend, Saskia Jorda. She is an invaluable communicant of our time as she illuminates the poignant issue of the Spanish speaking cultures infusing with the English speaking cultures. Her work addresses many social and political themes related to the transition between cultures, languages, and geographic locations. Currently, she is participating in a show in Cleveland, Ohio:
'Bi-Lingual,' at SPACES Gallery

[karto gra'fia], Saskia Jorda, 2008
Suspended installation. Canvas and felt.
This Show is curated by Angelica Pozo and runs from Sept. 5th - October 17, 2008.
Opening reception is Friday, Sept. 5th from 6 to 9pm.

SPACES Gallery
2220 Superior Viaduct
Cleveland, OH 44113

Monday, September 1, 2008

Progress Report : deconstruction

The Progress Report installation at Taliesin (see post here) was only temporary and so was deconstructed last week. The installation itself reflected upon aesthetics of mold or lichen growth and visually suggested continuous growth under the right conditions. Those conditions, in this case, were recycled paper accumulation, collection, and weaving all initiated by the artist as catalyst. The project culminated in 4 days of work and was left only for display. I like to think that the deconstruction of this project, simple as the paper had become brittle with exposure, reflects the natural decomposition or drying up of lichen (and the like) when left without good growing conditions. These photos, well worth taking, looked to me like the confetti of dry lichen after scraping it from a rock.

Each art project offers opportunity for the artist to put into reality concepts originating only in her or his mind. It is important to experience that fruition of ideas and then to let it stand for the artist and others to observe, experience and analyze. The finishing of an art piece can be somewhat deflating or anticlimactic, and admittedly I sometimes feel used by the experience. I realize with Progress Report's necessary deconstruction that the cycle of living is completed and thereby fulfilling in a different way. There is no need to preserve the work for all time. There is no need to defend it as time erodes the work's meaning or relevance. The work is simply remembered and serves as inspiration for more projects.