SEPTEMBER 26, 2010

I am so tired! Yesterday I had my first van/workshop test run at the Roslindale farmers market. I will talk more about the experiences when I download the pictures and post them. On friday Laurel McMechan helped me all day. Without her capable hands, I would not have been at a place to be able to demo out of the van. I still have a bunch to do but it is really shaping up.

Picking up the threads of thought-

During the Rolling Tool Box project, I took a short trip to Arizona to visit friends and explore ghost towns. I took a picture of this jail from he 1800s.

Jail in Pierce Arizona

This image image haunted me for the rest of my grad program. I am still not sure what its meaning is for me, but it became the inspiration of a few pieces. The first was this piece which I call Writers Retreat. I was taking a class in Artist Book making  with Annie Silverman. I decided to make a book that was 6 feet tall and could be unfolded into a room that one could actually write in.  I wanted to use the language of book making, so I made the hinges out of felt and sewed them to plywood pieces. It consisits of four flat pages that can fold out into a desk and bench to sit at.

Writers Retreat

I didn’t realize that the jail was the inspiration until I stepped back and looked at the final piece. This happens to me all the time. When I first met Jenn Moller, I was making the epoxy drawing drawing pieces. She was looking at a portfolio of my drawing/paintings from 1978, a portfolio I had not opened in years ,and commented that they were similar to the images of the new epoxy drawings. Without consciously knowing it it, I had picked up from where I left off 27 years before. I decided to do a conscious interpretation of the jail and came up with this piece which I now call, Bag. I started out the day deciding I would make the jail out of a material I had not used to build with before.   I went to home depot and scoured the aisles. I finally found these rolls of brown paper and decided that would be great. I ripped them into long strips and folded them into narrow strips. Then I wove them into a 40  inch by 40 inch by 60 inch square structure. I pasted ripped paper to the outside surface to hold it all together. When I stepped back to look at the finished piece I was very unhappy. Once again my friend Jenn stepped in and said , “you know, some times when I am unresolved about a piece I turn it upside down and side way, to look at it in a new way.” When I did this the piece became a giant bag . I put straps and monster truck wheels on it. Eventually I wove a matt out of news paper for the inside. It became one of my favorite pieces.


Bag with Beth

Bag, helped me realize that I can not make pieces happen. I can have a plan but each piece becomes what it needs to be. Being at Mass art was like being in a think tank. You did your work alone but always had wonderful colleagues to bounce it around with. I like working with people. I worked alone for years but school has shown me the importance of having other artist around me as I work.

About turningaroundamerica

Collaborative Team of Jenn Moller and Beth Ireland
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