THE BACK STORY
THE BACK STORY: In January 2016 I launched "Well Used, Well Loved" (WUWL)a long term community art project that explores age, beauty, impermanence and attachment through a hand woven dish towel and reflective writing/drawing. Eight households from England to Oregon "adopted" a hand woven linen towel to use however they wish. Every other week I sent a prompt for reflection to be recorded in a small journal that I provided. The response to my initial call to participate in WUWL was overwhelming. Over 50 households expressed interest in taking part in the project and I only had 8 towels.
So I created a secondary project that dovetailed with the first one. This second group of ultimately 38 households (Maine to Arizona) wrote and drew on kozo paper (a special Japanese paper) to record their response to my prompts. Thru a hands-on workshop at my studio I taught local folks from this group how to spin their kozo paper into thread using a Japanese technique called Shifu. I created a video tutorial for those who wanted to learn to spin their paper from afar.
Prompts to both groups were the same. For example Prompt #6 was: "The materials for this project are hand woven linen and Kozo paper. Both are created from plant fibers, known for their absorption qualities. Absorption can also been seen as dissolving boundaries. In that light what parallels or connection do you observe between your own ability to absorb, to soak up, to empathize? What connections do you perceive between your linen/paper and the action of union, of dissolving boundaries, connection? What value do these actions have today.
In September I began to collect the 8 towels, the kozo papers and the journals for a future installation. The journals, the used/loved towels and the completed art piece woven from the community threads will combine to create an installation that I am currently designing.
Sunday, January 31, 2016
|Towel VI gets a bath today!|
#VI here. I've had a traumatic morning. I was hanging around in the
kitchen as usual when I heard her say, "Throw VI in with the jeans and the
other dark towels. Remember what Sarah said about the dyeing!"
WHAT? WHO IS GENE AND AM I GOING TO DIE?
I was abruptly thrown in a basket with some other dark stuff and my
friend 'Green Towel'. He took us all to the basement and threw us in a
hole! Then he proceeded to dump white powder on my head.
WAIT! WAIT! IS THAT STUFF HAZARRDOUS?
Then even worse, the place started to flood and get all cloudy and
IS DROWNIG THE WAY I'm GOING TO DIE?
Things started to spin out of control and I bumped up against my friend
'Green' who saw my panic. ' Green' said, "Relax VI, this is Spa Day and
you're going to like it!" I tried to relax and found that the swim in the
pool was actually quite refreshing. So after a good swim we were
transferred to the sauna. Now that felt good! I stretched my warp and weft
back into shape and luxuriated in the warmth and comradery. After tumbling
with the jeans and 'Green" for a while we were taken from that hole and
folded into another basket for the trip back upstairs.
So, I was well used in my first week and was rewarded with the Spa
Treatment. My panic is over and I am becoming "Well Loved" Life is Good!
PS. She sent a picture for you.
Thursday, January 28, 2016
Wednesday, January 27, 2016
|hand-woven towel with weaver|
|hand-woven towel ready to be used and loved|
Saturday, January 23, 2016
And thus it is true - I just got these photos from a Linen Team participant in Milford CT- and I can't help from feeling so incredibly amazed a happy.
|Warm soup with towel on a snowy day.|
And one more Linen Team photo from a NH family.
|Family towel in NH|
Thursday, January 21, 2016
|One last look at the towels.|
I continue to be surprised and delighted by the response to this project. I have had over 45 people request to be involved in the project. There will be over 40 people involved on both teams (paper and Linen).
I have asked participants to contribute to this blog - or to email me and I'll share their news. So stay tuned for more news - the exploration into age and beauty has begun!
|Towel and journal ready to travel.|
|Ready to ship.|
Wednesday, January 13, 2016
NEWS FLASH!! Well Used, Well Loved has received grant funding from the Artists Resource Trust a fund of the Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation! So now the project can really fly on these two legs! Thank you to the A.R.T and the folks at the Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation!!
Thursday, January 7, 2016
|Towels and journals ready to go!|
Well Used, Well Loved
A community art project that explores age and beauty~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Will you consider joining me in this reflection on age and beauty?
I am seeking 8 individuals or households to "adopt" a hand-woven linen towel to use for six months. You will be asked to record periodic reflections and observations in a small journal that will be provided. Each site will be invited to have a "kitchen table conversation" with me at least once during the time period.
At the end of the six months, I will collect the used towel, exchanging it for a new towel as a thank you for participating in the project.
The eight Well Used and Well Loved towels will be the centerpiece for an installation grounded in an exploration of aging and beauty. The journals (or text from them) will also be a part of the final installation.
If you are interested I will ask you to sign a participation agreement. You will agree to use the towel, to communicate during the project's 6 months, to write in a journal, to return the towel at the end of six months.
Please visit my website for more info.
Please contact me if you are interested in participating in this project.