LIFE AS MYTH

Index

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JOURNAL

Index

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JOURNAL 2019

The golden thread

Letters to Mr. Avignon

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JOURNAL 2019

Index

Works in progress

The lesson in the peach

Little things

When Life hands you a lemon

Riotous roots

Rosa & Co.

The golden thread

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LIFEWORKS

About

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ARCHIVES

Index

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JOURNAL 2019
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ROSA & CO.

The fall semester ends. And there's another new work. This one draws inspiration from an early twentieth century photograph of my grandmother Rosa and great grandmother Winnifred. In the photograph (Claxton Georgia circa 1910), my great grandmother holds her youngest child on her lap; my grandmother stands at her right shoulder.

My great grandmother was a textile artist, creating numerous works in paint and fabric. With the exception of a few crazy quilt fragments, all of her artwork perished in a house fire. If you look carefully at the two panels of the diptych you can glimpse their faces within it. (Rollover artwork above to see photograph.)

 

There were other vintage resources for the piece. In addition to the photograph, I used papers from an 19th Century book on needlework along with muslin scraps from the lining of an old velvet cape that my grandmother gave me.

One more thought. There’s been an aha! moment or two this semester. Especially around this piece. It happened recently while I was talking to an adjunct artist who‘s been a guide for the past year or so. He asked me questions about my work. What was I trying to do? And the words came without even thinking about it. It’s my fascination with the horizon. I see that in this piece. How I keep trying to balance heaven and earth. And when I look a little closer I discover how it shows up across my work over and over again.

Photos featured in this post include the two panels of the diptych, two working drawings (rollover), a detail of panel 2, and the early 20th Century photograph of my grandmother and great grandmother (rollover).

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Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied to a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.
Dr. Martin Luther King [1929-68], clergyman and civil rights activist

WOMEN, ART AND RESISTANCE TO AUTHORITY

The image above dates from the 1940's and documents women prisoners at Ravensbrück, a World War II concentration camp north of Berlin. During the war over 130,000 women were held at the camp. The largest ethnic group was Polish. Prisoners were subjected to forced labor and nonconsensual medical testing. Conditions in the camp, acceptable at the commencement of the camp's operation, deteriorated and by the end of the war there were only 15,000 survivors. Prison personnel, recognizing the end of the war and liberation, forced most of the prison population into a death march, hoping to kill witnesses who could testify to the camp's activites.

There are reports of resistance which included secret educational programs led by experienced prisoner-teachers and the creation of personal artifacts like jewelry, small dolls and books. There is a major collection of surviving works on exhibition at Lund University Library, Sweden ("Voices from Ravensbrück").

 

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