Mater Matrix Mother and Medium is back in Seattle! I’m at the Seattle Center for the next week with artist Paul Margolis, as we re-sculpt and shape the crocheted pieces from the past three years of this project around the embankments of the Dupen Fountain at the Alki Courtyard (just outside Vera Project), opening on April 21st until May 31st.
As I shake out the dust of 6 months at the Cathedral St. John the Divine, I come across pieces in the large panels made by people I remember in Portland, NYC, Atlanta, Kent, Issaquah and all over Seattle. New pieces made on the lawn of the Cathedral while I was in NYC are added next to older faded pieces made by kids in White Center. I’m reinforcing weak spots with new cloth, and seeing a friend’s blue Brooks Brother shirt, donated and cut up, and crocheted by many different people into circular pools.
It feels appropriate to circle around the Fountain site, as this project seems to come back to a full circle to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the 1962 Worlds Fair with the Next Fifty program of 6 months of art installation, lectures, films, and hands-on activities. Yet in this closing cycle, the community workshops continue this April and May, again pulling in more people to add their voice to moments of community created around busy hands; teaching and learning at the same time, active listening while strangers find connections with each other.
The Dupen Fountain site has also inspired a newly commissioned performance I’m developing in collaboration with some of my favorite Seattle-based multi-media artists; dancer/choreographer Jessica Jobaris, harp poet Monica Schley, vocalist/performance artist Saskia Delores and filmmaker Rodrigo Valenzuela.
The inaugural installation in 2009 featured a stunning performance in the woods with visionary dancer/choreographer Zoe Scofield and composer/experimental musician Morgan Henderson. This new performance begins at the same jumping-off concepts — of the role water plays in the formation of community and how this is both ancient and contemporary – but is radically spinning off in new patterns of direction. Inspired by the transformational ability of water to slip between three states, by the three stages of life of growth, length and finite end, and the spectrum of effects water has on the human drama from tranquility all the way to devastation, this new multi-media performance will interweave rites of passage into an investigation of the sometimes-contradictory predicament of what it means to be both an individual and a member of a group.
I’m already mesmerized by our early multi-layered soundscapes and movement scores, and am so spurred on by the talented people for whom I’m making a series of wearable sculptures and gowns inspired by Roman-era Alexandria mixed with a bit of glitz. The performances happen just before twilight on May 5th and 6th, 2012, so mark that on the calendar already and follow @matermatrix on Twitter or on Facebook to get more details as they come. What you experience will be luminous; I am almost sure of it!
In the meantime, join me at the Seattle Center for the opening of the MMMM installation during The Next Fifty Opening Day Celebration on April 21st, 2012. I’ll be hosting a Community Crochet event from 1-4 pm in The Armory/Center House at the Westside courtyard in the newly remodeled food court area. There is just a huge list of activities for kids and adults, workshops, performances and exhibits happening all day from 10am -6pm. Check out the list HERE. Drop in and see me for a break from the activity and relax for a bit while adding some crochet stitches to panels that will be added into my installation. This is totally for beginners with all materials provided, as well as a great place to share what you know if you are an expert crochet. Help create community one moment at a time.
I’ll also be back at the Seattle Center the next day April 22nd, 2012 for more crocheting for the Earth Day Celebration. Community Crochet will be from 12-4 pm at the activity tent at Next 50 Plaza (just west of the EMP). I’ll be there until 2pm, then head into The Armory/Center House to be on a panel discussion about Sustainability in the Arts in Conference Room H until 3:30 pm. Again, there are a whole host of other presentation and hands-on activities for kids and adults in The Next 50 Plaza tent happening all day from 11-5, see the list HERE.
And more Community Crochet workshops are set to happen during Northwest Folklife Festival, May 25 – 28 : 1-4pm at the Next Fifty Activity Tent at Next Fifty Plaza, just west of the EMP. All materials provided, but donations of old blue yarns or fabrics are always welcome!
Commissioned by the Office Of Arts and Cultural Affairs and Seattle Public Utilities 1% for Art, as a way to encourage stewardship, and to celebrate and interpret the splendor of Seattle’s urban watersheds, MMMM has brought people together in communities around the country, crocheting recycled materials, adding their voices to the conversation about personal and civic responsibility to heal our relationship to water.
Mater Matrix Mother and Medium community workshops, performances and installation probes how civic communities have always formed around water, and how we as individuals through creative acts, can tap back into the reverence for water our ancestors felt.