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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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!
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.
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!