Thursday, March 17, 2011

Feng Shui, Wisconsin-Style

How much does what's going on around you show up in your work? For me, it's a lot. Whatever my intentions, at time it feels like my hands aren't so much stitching as they are are on an invisible Ouija board. But I wouldn't say I'm channeling into my work messages from the Great Beyond. Mostly, it feels much closer.

I'll back up. If you haven't previously been subjected to me poetic waxing that looping celebrates connections between what came before and what is yet to come, consider yourself caught up. So an image I posted earlier this week on the New Age Looping Study Group Facebook page got me to thinking about those connections.

I made the piece in 1996 or '97 during football games. The Green Bay Packer defense, led by the late, great Reggie White, was legendary. That piece hangs near the back door in my studio. It's been there so long I hardly even register it any more. But when I do, it makes me smile to think that some spark of energy from the Minister of Defense is protecting a place where I can be pretty vulnerable. That's feng shui Wisconsin-style.

This week I've been thinking a lot about how the energy around me shows up in my work. I'll show a few more examples from past work in my next posts.

In the meantime, I'll share this. I've been preparing for a show coming up in June where my intention was to celebrate renewal, using techniques and colors inspired by Japanese boro as a starting point. This week, studio work came to a halt. I needed to prep for teaching but also to reflect on how my intentions feel in light of recent events.

Japan has been rocked by devastating earthquakes and aftershocks, tsunami, and nuclear disaster. It feels presumptuous to reference techniques from a culture that is not my own in a celebratory way when that culture is in mourning and in fear of what tomorrow might bring.

I'm sure you've seen plenty of video of the disaster and its aftermath. If you haven't seen this video on boro, you may want to watch it, as well, then tell me what you think.

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