I am working on a new body of work that will incorporate vintage clothing. In a moment of complete insanity I decided to deconstruct my father’s wool WWII Army uniform (on a hot summer day). The construction is incredible. Even the inner linings are works of art. At first it felt a bit sacrilegious or unpatriotic to take it apart, but really what else is there to do with it? Donate to charity and let some kid wear it to school? No, it needs this repurposing!
After spending about an hour on it this afternoon my hands, wrists and fingers were killing me. Apparently all my years of handwork (sewing, knitting, weaving, spinning, more sewing, dyeing, painting and typing) have caught up with me. It might serve me to contract this job out to a kid who wants to make some summer cash. I need not do everything!
Meanwhile I am off to the South Bay soon to install a three-person exhibit of which I am proud to be included. “Forming Our Lives” will be at the San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles July 26-Sept 14, 2014.
Curator Bonnie J. Smith writes: Art gives us the opportunity to reach out and engage the viewer. In the exhibit “Forming Our Lives,” three women recount personal stories that have affected and continue to shape their lives. Viewers can relate to or learn from their experiences and self-discovery, the solutions they have found through their journeys, or perhaps the resolution they are each still searching for in their lives.
Bonnie J. Smith found herself literally swimming upstream in her life after a work-related injury forced her to use a wheel chair. Although professionals had their doubts about her recovery, she persevered and was able to heal herself. Carol Larson was surgically shortened six inches as a teenager to make her a better fit for society. While the path that followed the decision has been emotionally and physically excruciating, she is a survivor. Cristina Velazquez’s work questions the world that says, “Women must be and do certain things.” She hits us hard as she repeatedly asks, “Why must I be that woman”? The artwork they have created continually asks the question, “Why do certain situations happen in our lives and how do we overcome them?” This exhibit gives insight into how three women have answered those hard questions.