Friday, October 17, 2008
For the last several months, my inspiration to create dresses was borne primarily from a "what I'd like to wear tomorrow (or even today!)" perspective. Regarding experimentation and skill acquisition, this is a legitimate process. In order to craft a cohesive collection however, a bit more integrity is required of me. It's time now for some depth rather than breadth and while my new workspace is taking shape, I am ready to get obsessive. Prepare yourselves for the deep end. :)
Monday, October 13, 2008
This weekend we turned my colleague Lorraine's (sheshasho) garage into an art gallery/studio/dance party and invited Portland to come take a look. Together with photographer Daniella Cardona we exhibited paintings, drawings, photographs, and of course, dresses. Along with 97 other studios, we opened house and had visitors ranging from skeptical older women to our various relatives to enthusiastic crafters and neighbors. I was surprised by how many folks made the trek out to Beaver-Tron to inquire about our creations and to shoot the breeze. Lorraine and Daniella both sold several of their works, and I sold the black and white checked jumper pictured to Colleen. All in all, a positive experience. Thanks to everyone who stopped by!
Sunday, October 5, 2008
Having moved into a house where one of the roommates receives Harper's Magazine on a subscription basis, it was my privilege to encounter an article on one of my many favorite subjects; Iceland and its inhabitants. The article dealt with the history of democracy in the little volcanic island. Over breakfast, I learned how medieval Icelanders would meet on a yearly basis in a spectacularly lush and picturesque valley called "Thingvellir" to discuss governance, recite laws, and sentence wrongdoers to fines or punishments. I imagined them civilly discussing the matters at hand in a Hans Blix-esque fashion, possibly issuing formal complaints to those who sold their sheep at too high a price or borrowed a neighbor's boat without asking, and then I learned several stoic Icelanders had in fact chronicled such events. One of these being lawyerly Njal, notorious for his thoughtful contemplation. The author points out, however, that during her perusal of Njal's Saga, she came to see a distinct (and in my opinion, humorous) dichotomy in the content. "Njal's careful legal deliberation, though, was an odd contrast to much of the saga's grisly violence, as though Black's Law Dictionary had been spliced into Grand Theft Auto. Njal notes the importance of the rule of law--'With laws shall our land be built up but with lawlessness laid waste'--and not many pages later, his eldest son catches sight of his enemies on an ice sheet beside the river and, in a celebrated passage, decides to make the most of the opportunity:
'Skarp-Hedin made a leap and cleared the channel between the ice-banks, steadied himself, and at once went into a slide: the ice was glassy-smooth, and he skimmed along as fast as a bird. Thrain was then about to put on his helmet. Skarp-Hedin came swooping down on him and swung at him with his axe. The axe crashed down on his head and split it down to the jaw bone, spilling the back-teeth on to the ice.'"
Solnit, Rebecca. News from Nowhere: Iceland's Polite Dystopia.
Harper's Magazine, October 2008: Vol. 317 no. 1901, pgs. 47-53.
So I'm not trying to say that splitting open the head of your enemy with a battle axe is funny, but...the fact that its part of Iceland's great literary tradition sure is. Just read that passage aloud to yourself in your best Icelandic saga voice, and imagine reading it aloud to children of many ages sitting around the hearth. Possibly even choosing your favorite brother with whom to act it out for these children, dressed in intricately knit sweaters and thick wool socks. In the 12th or 13th century. Maybe then you can extrapolate to join me in raucous laughter.
And in case you're wondering about that crushed velvet skeleton I mentioned a week or so back? There it is. Flesh and blood.
Thursday, October 2, 2008
Word! My busy pal Lorraine is flying up from LA to host a group exhibit in her "former studio" in Beaverton next weekend, and you are all invited! Yours truly will be there with a brand new series of garments in fine form...additionally there will be painting in action, dresses for sale, photographs, and fun-fun-fun waiting for you adventurous souls. Treat yourself to a weekend of art and support Portlandia in all its grassroots creative glory! We look forward to seeing your lovely faces there!
More details from Lorraine:
On the weekend of October 11th and 12th from 10:00am-5:00pm the annual event Portland Open Studios will be taking place all over Portland's Westside! The Open Studios program, in it's tenth year of operation, is an opportunity for the public to interact with Portland based artists in metro area in the intimacy of their own studios, view their most recent works, watch art being done, and buy art directly from the artist. You will see a diverse group of artists working in their chosen media—painting, sculpting, blowing glass and much more. You will meet emerging artists in their 20s and 30s as well as mid-career and well-established artists from all over the United States and the world!
Tickets and a directory of all 98 participating artists and a map are obtained through the purchase of the Portland Open Studios Tour Guide online (portlandopenstudios.com) or at one of the following vendors; New Seasons Market, Art Media or these retail outlets. Your Tour Guides admits 2 adults (children through high school are free) for all 4 days. The Guide includes a map of the studios, pictures of artists' work, and a full-color calendar.
As most may know I am no longer living in Oregon. I have been fortunate enough to set up my third studio in Los Angeles, where I have been working, creating, and scheming for the future, not to mention living it up (accounts both colourful and wordy of this adventure can be followed at sheshasho.blogspot.com!) However, I will be returning to the NW on the weekend of October 11th and 12th to re-invent my previous studio in Beaverton and be the youngest presenting artist ever.
Along with my most recent collection of works, a large in-process canvas, and two short films, three other artists will be accompanying me by showcasing their practice and recent works as well during this year's Open Studio:
Ben Young A fellow UO alum and art student, Ben is a transplant to Portland from Phoenix. He is a painter, sculptor and mechanic extraordinaire who's responsible for a majority of the mechanical moving parts and the construction of many of this year's Rose Parade floats. He has shown his sculpture at the Everett Street Lofts downtown.
Caitlin McCall A fellow Westview High School alum, Caitlin is a fervent clothing designer and crafter. Following an extended period living and working in the clothing design world in Germany, Caitlin has returned to Portland to throw down and introduce her cross-generational, bright dress designs to the States.
Daniella Cordona A fellow child of the Earth, Daniella is a freethinking photographer with the fervent and curiosity greater than most. Her black and white photos tell stories of nature and the human form. The Bolivian describes her edge as one from "the camera itself, just letting the lens lead and then deciphering a narrative, if any later."
Please mark this event on your calendar! I look forward to see all of you and sharing my art and encouraging the celebration of three other artists who keep me stimulated from Portland. There are about 5 other studios all in very close proximity too that offer diverse art as well, so come enjoy, thrive, and get inspired! The standard art gallery fare will be provided.
Again October 11th & 12th from 10:00am-5:00pm @ 14752 NW Forestel Loop Beaverton, OR 97006
See you there!