MMMM @ BAM until September 15th!

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The largest installation of the Mater Matrix Mother and Medium project is currently up at The Bellevue Arts Museum in Bellevue, Washington, until September 15th.    Beginning at the colonnade of lampposts and trees in front of the museum, it continues west for another two city blocks, with some of the largest panels swirling around an old oak tree past 106th Ave.

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For myself and creative partner Paul Margolis, installing the installation this time was one of the most enjoyable and interactive times we’ve done it.  The streets we were working on for about 100 hours, crocheting up on ladders, are major walking thoroughfares, and -once we began to count- we would get about 5 to 10 complements on the installation an hour.  It is a a very strenuous process, so this kept our morale high.

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Immediately following the installation, I had to throw myself into completing another installation headed to Italy, so I don’t feel like I’ve had a chance to fully process what great feedback we got, all of the support from the museum and museum visitors, as well as people who have followed and contributed to the MMMM project since its beginning in 2009.  I am so grateful for the embracing experience!  For the time being, here are many images from the installation and the part of it that functioned as the opening to the BAM ARTSfair.

NEWS AND EVENTS

Crochet pools coming in! Not too late to join in!

My hope for people to join in MMMM remotely is beginning to bloom!

My mom, in Virginia, has been hard at work.  Thanks Mom!

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And Maggie Dean put together a Community Crochet event at The Blend of Art and Coffee, in Prosperity South Carolina! Maggie is a former assistant of mine, and I am so excited she decided to bring MMMM with her as she traveled.  I’m looking forward to hearing more about the event.

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1009308_10151634518028810_1795604310_o1014510_10151634518788810_1564855057_oI also have word that crocheting is happening in Tacoma and Soap Lake, Washington, Atlanta, Portland and Alaska!  If you still want to join in, contact me, and check out these directions.  I’d like to get the crocheted pieces around July 1st!

Mater Matrix Mother and Medium will be installed this summer, and will flow down the streets of Bellevue, Washington, and create a striking gateway to The Bellevue Arts Museum’s 67th anniversary of the BAM ARTSfair this July 26th, 27th and 28th, 2013. The installation will remain up until mid-September.

 

Directions for those wanting to join in MMMM this summer!

I’m sending out my first round of directions for those people requesting to join in MMMM project this summer, so I just thought i would post them to the blog as well!

I’m so thrilled at the response so far! email me at matermmm@gmail.com if you need more information!

Thank you so much for wanting to join in the MMMM community-based installation.  This on-going project will be a part of the 6oth anniversary of the Bellevue Arts Museum ARTSfair, in Bellevue, Wa. cascading down the streets above the fair and the entrance, celebrating both the way that art can form community and actively trying to create it!

Crocheting at Delridge Library

Crocheting at Delridge Library

Because this is the most ambitious version of the project, spanning city blocks, I wanted to get anyone involved who would like to participate, not just those able to attend the workshops that will be at the museum before and during the fair.

I would so value your contribution!

What I have loved about this project since I have been working on it since 2009, is it creates individual connections between people, even though it represents the gathering together of our larger communities around water.  I began crocheting for this summer’s iteration and a poet who was teaching a class my son was in, says to me, ‘oh that reminds me of an artwork I saw a few summers ago, and I was inspired to write a poem about it’, not realizing that I was the artist who had created the piece that spurred her on to write.  I love that this artwork seems to have a life of its own, because so many people are still a part of it, their energy, hopes and desires still move it along.

So welcome!  The first thing I need you to know is, there are really no mistakes involved in this process.  You can contribute in anyway you want to, however little or large you life allows.

You can crochet alone, or ask a few friends to a coffee shop.  Or you and a few friends could invite a few friends, or even make a public Facebook invite that invites anyone who wants to learn to crochet to join you. 

Do you have to know how to crochet to participate?  Well, you need to learn, and I wish I was there to teach you, but there are so many great sources to learn the basic stitches on Youtube (chain and single or double crochet).   But I think an exciting thing to do would be to put the word out among your friends and acquaintances that you want to learn and meet for coffee, talk, share something new about yourselves.  And anything you make is perfect for the installation, within just a few parameters.

If you know how to crochet already, in the spirit of the project, see how many new people you can teach to crochet.  It never fails, when I have done community crocheting in a casual environment (i.e. coffee shop), if there are more than two people crocheting blue stuff, people gravitate over. “What are you making?” and some even stay to help or learn.  Try it!

I never try to force a didactic message about water and our relationship to it at the communal gatherings; I want the community space to flow naturally, but I do ask a few questions sometimes once people get going.  Doing handwork allows people to feel relaxed and free- associate, and that makes for some amazing thoughts to emerge.  I would love it, if it feels right, for you to do the same.  And document some of the responses and impressions, have people write it down.  Take pictures of people with their crocheting, sharing some moments together.  I would like to share these on the MMMM blog, so make sure everyone is cool with it.  If it gets too busy, or you aren’t interested in this part of the project, that is fine too.

It can be as simple as :

-What are your earliest memories, impressions, experiences of water?

-What emotions do you connect to bodies of water you have lived near by? 

-How do you engage with water on a daily basis?  Is it mundane, sacred or some point in between?

-What do you want to change in the human relationship to water?

These things alone will get the conversation going.

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Now about the crocheting.  Basically your only guidelines are to make flat rounded panels about 6-8 inches in diameter, or you can also just make chains.  They could be square – I include those too, but the rounded ones seems to reference flowing water more.  But flat or mostly flat works best when I am incorporating all the pieces together.  Ruffled pieces are just too hard to add in. And the yarn and fabric can be any color or shade of blue.  I know rivers have other colors in them…sometimes people have wanted to add green or grey or brown, but the stunning blue of this massive installation is one thing that makes it compelling to experience.  Any kind of yarn and any size hook will work.  Experiment!  Have fun!  Ask people to clean out their closets, stashes and craft bins, search the thriftstore…no need to buy anything new!

I will begin to reshape and add in panels to the installation beginning July 1st, so would like to receive the panels around that time.  I have a small amount of funding to send to about 10 groups to use a USPS Medium Flat rate box, as long as it is STUFFED full.  If you need assistance with the shipping, please let me know.

 

Thank you so so much for wanting to join it!  I am so excited to see what surprises will come from this open call!

And if you do belong to a knitting/crocheting/crafting group, I would love it if you would share this project among your member, or even organize an event together.  And please let me post about your group!

 

If you still have any questions, let me know!

Thanks so much!

Looking for crocheters from around the country (and globe) to join in the MMMM project this summer!

I’m eager to announce Mater Matrix Mother and Medium’s most ambitious iteration to date, and get as many people possible around the country (and the globe) involved!  This summer MMMM will flow down the streets of Bellevue, Washington, and create a striking gateway to The Bellevue Arts Museum’s 67th anniversary of the BAM ARTSfair this July 26th, 27th and 28th, 2013.

Crocheting at Cathedral St. John the Divine NYC

Crocheting at Cathedral St. John the Divine NYC

The on-going MMMM community-created fiber river project will move through the trees and civic structures around the museum, and I’ll be leading a series of community crochet workshops at the museum before and during the fair.

But I want to get anyone involved who would like to participate, not just those people able to attend in the community.  Every time I have created a new version of MMMM in a different community, I have been contacted by folks through my blog wishing they could participate and wanting to send blue crocheted pieces to be added in to the river.  I love the idea but never really had the time during the project to facilitate this.

This time I want to make that happen!  If you are part of a knitting/crocheting or crafting group or just as an individual, and would like to join in the MMMM project and don’t live in Bellevue, Washington area (or even if you do but want to work remotely!), contact me at matermmm@gmail.com!

Crocheting at Museum of Contemporary Craft, Portland

Crocheting at Museum of Contemporary Craft, Portland

Here are the directions and  information and strategies you need to facilitate your own Community Crochet Event to contribute to the MMMM project.  It includes information  about how to facilitate story-telling through handwork about our shared, rich and meaningful experiences and deeply-held beliefs about water and community.  I’ll ask that someone in your group (however large or small) be a documenter and journaler for these conversations, and that we share your words and photographs on the Mater Matrix Mother and Medium blog and social media.  You can feel free to interpret this documentation however much or little your group is comfortable with.

And your group’s crocheted pieces will be integrated into this project that included work from people around Seattle and the Northwest, NYC, Atlanta, Portland and Boston!

So if you want to join in, contact me today at matermmm@gmail.comWe have until July 1st for this community participation leg of this largest and most ambitious adaptation of this project!

Crocheting in Seattle's urban forest

Crocheting in Seattle’s urban forest

Crocheting at Agnes Scott College, Decatur, Georgia

Crocheting at Agnes Scott College, Decatur, Georgia

Crocheting in Seattle's Summer Streets

Crocheting in Seattle’s Summer Streets

“Saltus Chori Aevum” Film by Rodrigo Valenzuela, premiers July 3rd, The Rendezvous, Seattle

This past May, the ‘Mater Matrix Mother and Medium’ project premiered a 2-day multi-disciplinary performance called “Saltus Chori Aevum”, created by collaboration with Mandy Greer, Jessica Jobaris, Saskia Delores, Monica Schley and Andrea Ives,

During the course of the development of the performance, filmmaker Rodrigo Valenzuela worked closely with the artists, filming improvisation sessions, ritualized cleansings and an intimate view of the performances themselves. Capturing more than just a performance documentation, Valenzuela integrated his own vision into the narrative, creating revealing portraits of the labor and relationships of the performers.

Join us July 3rd for a reception and screening of his film, from 5pm-8pm at The Rendezvous Jewel Box Theater. 2322 2nd Ave. Seattle, WA 98121 U.S.A (206) 441-5823

Presented by The Seattle Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs and Commissioned by Seattle Public Utilities 1% for Art. MMMM celebrates and interprets the splendor of Seattle’s urban watersheds and encourages stewardship, especially as it connects to SPU’s work.

“Saltus Chori Aevum” Performance images, May 5 and 6th, 2012

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The MMMM project was lucky enough to get to work with filmmaker and photographer Rodrigo Valenzuela this spring on “Saltus Chori Aevum”.  He not only captured some incredible images of the 2-night public art performance, but also worked with all … Continue reading