My friend, collaborator and fellow Brit, after 2 months away, Kate Cox is now back in Colorado. She continues to wait for a decision from the Department US Immigration to have her A-1 visa reinstated. All this happened after an officer at the US Embassy in London questioned her international fiber artist status. Kate has lived and worked in USA for 8 years.
Currently on vacation, I’ve started four new pieces, all hand stitched, photos to follow. Three will become a triptych to be hung vertically. Each will be assembled from found cloth which will be appiiqued to a black background. Each appiiqued piece will be linked to another by hand stitches.
When I wake up, I like to start the day untangling threads, it is perhaps an unconscious effort to sort out the dreams I had. Because I stitch, there are always threads to untangle, the limit I set myself is not to cut the thread unless it is absolutely necessary. I think this exersice allows me to think through a plan for the stitching I’m about to start.
A week ago fiber artist J. Bruce Wilcox announced that he was actively selling his art work. A good price could be had for his pre 2010 work. Well, I was interested in one of his works from 1973 which I had seen on a slide last year. Bruce removed the work from the shelf where it had sat all these years, dusted it off, removed the stretcher bars washed and stretched the work and dashed out to buy new stretcher bars. The piece looked fresh and well preserved when I saw it in real life. I remembered it differently, with less color, since I had only briefly glanced at the slide. I liked it immediately, took is home, now I am the proud owner of Bruce’s hand stitched 1973 work.
Primitive-Raw-Outsider-Art and Keep Moving
Everyday, I tell myself to keep moving or you will rust. Pic above, me at the YMCA in a spinning class. Sponsored by the Lance Armstrong Foundation.
When I was a young 14 year old girl in my first job my brother Mike asked my why I don’t wear something normal. Well what could I say? At that time I realized that I was unconventional in my tastes, not sure I’ve changed much. I left school to learn the hairdressing trade, since it seemed obvious to the teachers I was not university material. To say the least I was “thick”.
Perhaps growing up in Britain the country of Monty Python, I developed an early sense of the ridiculous and the absurd. Hand stitching helps my live the ridiculous and absurd, it’s extremely satisfying and necessary to live those two thoughts they are my life’s philosophy.
My growth was formed by growing up in a strict household and in a strict school environment, my early development has stayed with me throughout my adult life. On the surface I’m shy and somewhat withdrawn with conservative thoughts. On the other hand, inside is also a rebellious person, dying to kick the system, a person who dyes her hair pink and doesn’t give a s…, an independent free thinker who has settled into something that feeds my creative whims.
My work is raw-primitive stitching done by hand, using primarily recycled items. “Outsider Art” is the category into which I slot my work. The unfinished pleases me, rough work overlapping outside the mainstream, hand stitching on the outer edge of embroidery norms.
We were asked to be part of the May 2013 “Darn” event. A different theme takes place on the last Friday of every month except November and December. The evening was festive with music on the ground floor and people were everywhere. Food was provided with a cash bar. The evening drew young energetic people who were enjoying the party atmosphere.
We were to give a talk at 8:00 and another at 9:00, the visitors were handed a program upon entry to the museum, with activities taking place in the most unusual places like in little corners of the room and under the stairs visitors had many options to see demos from many artists.
Our events brought a good crowd, many asked the most interesting questions such as the type of knot we used to secure our pop can tabs to each other. See picture above. Our interpretation of El Anatsui’s work was to piece together a curtain from the pop can tabs.
A video photographer filmed us for museum use, I think it went well but I haven’t seen it yet! Fiber artist Barb Beasley visited our table, we took a few pictures together.
Kate and I working at the museum.
Inspiration for our Denver Art Museum work on Friday evening.
Last weekend we had a party for my husband’s 80th birthday at the Greenbriar Restaurant in Boulder. Family flew in from San Diego and the east coast.
We went to the mountains, with the family, we were surprised to see that Bear Lake still had snow and was slippery. Some people wearing sandals, with small children in strollers wanted to walk to the lake but the rangers wouldn’t allow them to venture further than the clear footpath unless they carried the babies.
Kate and I are working on our Friday project for the Denver Art Museum. We were asked to choose a painting, any painting in the museum to inspire us to create a piece of art to show the DAM visitors. The concept of being inspired by but not copy the work of another artist. Kate chose El Anatsui, on Friday evening May 31 2013 from 8-10 PM we will sit in front of his shimmering wall hanging and work our creation built on the principal of the creative process. We will be on the 4th floor of the Hamilton Building.
Saturday, Kate and I had many visitors on our platform at the museum. Judith Trager along with Barb Frey stayed and chatted with us during out “2 Brits” demonstration. So good to see you Judith and Barb.
2 children stitched with us, also a man and his wife. One woman stitched with us for an hour and a half.
The second day, Sunday one of my former London Hair employees Kay and her husband Doug came to the see the varied exhibitions and activities within the Denver Art Museum during the opening of the “Spun:Adventures in Textiles” I hadn’t seen Kay since sometime in 1980s, we re-connected through Facebook. Longtime friends of my husband and myself, also visited. Kathy and Attilio, Darryl and Pamela, Bela and Judy, Carol Ann Waugh stopped to chat but we only had just a few minutes to say hello.
Our museum classroom project is growing quickly.
Above I posted pics of our two finished pieces that are currently on display until September.