This past weekend was both the opening for Proof of Some Existence at ECHO Gallery in Calistoga, and the reading and signing for Thread Loves Paper at Mrs. Dalloway's Books in Berkeley. Fortunately for me, they were scheduled so as to allow me to make it to both.
Mrs. Dalloway's Books is one of the few bookstores I've ever been in that devotes a small section to Book Arts, which makes them totes awesome.
Emily spoke about the overall project, how it started, and discussed how many of the artists featured learned sewing skills from family members, not in art school, and that such techniques are often seen as a lesser form of art compared to say, painting, sculpture, etc....and that she saw it as a feminist action, publishing this book, featuring these artists who made this work and felt it mattered. At the close of her talk, she was asked to read a short section of text that stood out. She selected a section of text by the always insightful Erin Sweeney.
Below, some books on display for the event, including some by yours truly.
Emily also invited me and another artist to come up and say a few words. I tried to talk about how I see paper as a reference to nature, and anything done to paper - sewing, puncturing, marking - becomes an invocation of the human hand. And so, in my mind, paper with marks on embodies the interrelationship between the natural world and humankind's affect on it.
Once the talk was over, I stayed to mingle for a few minutes, then had to get on the road up to Calistoga.
I originally had intended to exhibit more work, but I didn't want to crowd these two pieces (see previous post on their making). Yet, I received the sweetest compliment from J Kirk, who told me that he wished they had more work up.
I spent the evening trying to focus on feeling grateful and fortunate. Not only for these opportunities, but for the community around them, that makes such events possible and nurtures my spirt; people like Emily Marks, Ann Trinca, Kathryn Reasoner, Oscar and Azalea Aquilar. I feel like I spent so much of 2012 overwhelmed in a whirlwind of to-do lists, I must remember to enjoy and appreciate what I have. The most integral, and sustaining thing for me as an artist, heck, as a human being, is always community. It's difficult, when I'm overtired, when I'm always feeling rushed, when I'm juggling so many things, to remember to just be, and yet it's what I need more than anything. I've been in a cycle of working all the time, I'm trying to transition into a more present state of being. So here goes.