I am back! Wow that was a whirlwind – I need to decompress for a bit – but I have many thoughts and images left to share from my trip. For now I am happy just to be back in my studio, and back at work. Next up? Tomorrow I am giving a brief talk about my trip to Sweden and the work I created for that trip as part of the Women Create salon series, then this weekend we finally begin working on the flag books for the installation – if you live nearby head over to the website to sign up for a spot – this is a FREE class! Then I need to really get cracking to finish up the book for “bound” so it arrives in Leeds in time for its debut! First though – an early night! My poor body is still stuck in between time zones and I am exhausted!!
Today’s post is for all my mixed media friends! The work of Satu Rautiainen, some lusciously layered paintings. Sorry for the crumby image – the ones on the blog are much better!
It has been a very long day here in Stockholm. As regular readers know I am not always good at prolonged exposure to people – and I am worn out by all this networking! Today I was able to take a bit of a break and go do some sightseeing and shopping. There is an excellent paper shop here, so as you can imagine I was like a kid in a candy store!! But now I am missing my studio a bit and wish I was home at work there!
I have met some really great artists, so here are some of today’s favorites
THIS amazing collaborative project – I really like this idea – an archive of belongings that attempts to uncover a life. Interesting how objects define us – and of course my Victorian reformers would say well designed objects make a moral person!!
THIS artist who works with recycled materials 🙂 and has an awesome day job!!
And THIS artist whose work may be my favorite thing in the whole show, recycled whimsy.
So here in Stockholm it is 5 am, snow is falling gently over the city, and I have been laying awake trying to sleep for hours – not happening, my body clock is still set on US time. I am enjoying my time here so far, later today after a shift in the booth I am going out to do a bit of proper sightseeing, and to visit some fabulous stationery shops where I know I will be buying some paper!!
Being here is a real eye opener. I realize that I am no longer hip (if I ever was) – I am finding much of the work to be rather boring and repetitive. I am old fashioned, I value the presence of the artist’s hand. This is not to say that there is not some astonishing work here, but much of what I see looks like something I have seen before. I guess if you are going to be conceptual at least give me a new idea! By comparison with much of what I see my work looks totally uncool and not with it at all. I think I should be upset by that, but I find I am not.
I have had some really excellent conversations about my work with people today, and while most have not even given the piece half a glance, some have been interested. It is all good, perhaps it is the jet lag but I am oddly serene. What I do is what I do- it is OK.
I imagine I should try to get some sleep for a while. More adventures to follow.
So here’s a little preview of some of the work and the exhibition space
more news tomorrow maybe – right now I am off to bed, jet-lag is catching up with me!
So after a really exhausting day and a half of traveling I am in Stockholm!! I couldn’t get at my camera in my luggage when we arrived yesterday, but i will try to take some pictures today. The building the exhibit is happening in is amazing, and I can’t wait till the preview party tonight to see all the work set up. Yesterday we could sneak some glimpses but no one was really 100% set up. Curating the space is quite a challenge as everyone has pretty small work as it had to be transported in suitcases here. I will try to post more later today, but for now, here is the pretty view from my bed as a type!
Yes – college is back in session, and I am busy!! I have very engaged enthusiastic students (right now) – so I am eagerly expecting a great semester of learning and growing together. It really fills me with energy when I have great students! Woot!!
The Stockholm project is finally taking shape and I have finished sewing all the tiny boxes and am finishing up the little books to go in them all. They look so amazing, worth the work after all. It looks as if I am going to be able to go to Stockholm for the weekend so I am nervous and exited about that. It seems like such a big scary step, to rub shoulders with all those real artists and curators. I hope I am up to the challenge. If any of you have advice to offer on places to stay in Stockholm, or things to do, where to eat etc, I’d love some insider info!
The Women Create project is slowly unfolding. The show is curated, the artists have been notified and as Jen is such a wonderful organizer, so far everything is going well.It was fun to use my neglected design skills to make this postcard for the show, I haven’t done much design work since I quit my day job, so it was nice to stretch my mind a bit!! Next stop – posters and workshop flyers – wow! I am going to need more hours in the day!! LOL!
I am still working on those blackwork embroidery bindings, they are slow, slow going, but I get such an enormous rush from completing one. It is a puzzle to figure out how embroidery pattern can become a binding that will work, and then I am so happy when I put in the last stitch. I just keep thinking of more and more ways to explore the possibilities of this!! I am just brimming to the top with inspiration right now!
Lastly, head on over to Seth’s blog the Altered Page for this weeks edition of the Master Class. You can find out which artist I would love to take a class with!! Although I don’t think you will be too surprised by my choice. I am really enjoying this “chapter” of the Pulse – it is fascinating to see who other artists would pick to study with.
Often I wonder why – why am I drawn to these insanely repetitive projects that require hours of manual labour? So far about 20 hours of sewing here, back to work.
It has been a year of ups and downs as always – but I am feeling content with my creative life as I move into the new year. It takes a long time to “network” and opportunities sometimes feel thin on the ground, but at other times all that work starts to pay off. This is one of those “when it rains , it pours” moments, so I am pleased to be able to share some Exciting News – my work is off to Sweden – see here – with a group from Liverpool/Leeds in the UK. I am thrilled at this opportunity! (More to come on this project I am sure)
Also I recently heard that this new project related to SWAN day will be funded by a generous grant. Later this week we will be meeting to curate the show that will hang during those months – I am excited to see all the work that has been submitted and I think it will be a wonderful show. There will also be a series of art salons/lectures, a women’s art market and a day of workshops, all still to be organized and announced, so that should keep me out of mischief for a bit.
In the studio things are finally beginning to move again after a bit of a stalemate. When I finished Room for Utopia I was at a bit of a loose end, a decade of research and ideas finally wrapped up (sort of – still a few thoughts lingering!). But this week I had a bit of an epiphany and have began working on a series of new bindings loosely based on a Elizabethan blackwork or Spanish work embroidery patterns. I have finished a few trial pieces and hopefully can scrounge up a camera later this week to post a few pictures. I am also exploring some small sculptural pieces for my show with Molly Jarboe next year which feature fairy tale motifs.
I hope that everyone enjoyed their holidays with family and friends. I am happy to report that my baby is on the mend and up and about and in physical therapy and that I had a very peaceful holiday season with my family. Hopefully blogging will be back to a more normal pace – talk to you all in the new year! Best & Blessings to you all.