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.

 photo

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!

Advertisements

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

This weekend: Community Crochet at Northwest Folklife Festival

COMMUNITY CROCHET WORKSHOPS: May 25 – 28, 2012, 1-4pm everyday, Northwest Folklife Festival at the Seattle Center, Next Fifty Plaza Activity Tent ( HUGE white tent just west of the EMP)

Catch me this last weekend to participate in my on-going project Mater Matrix Mother and Medium as it returns to Seattle Center for more Community Crochet Workshops and the final weekend to see the re-envisioned installation!

'Saltus Chori Aevum' performance for the MMMM Project, by Rodrigo Valenzuela

‘Saltus Chori Aevum’ performance for the MMMM Project, by Rodrigo Valenzuela

Participate! Fri. 5/25 – Mon. 5/28, 1-4pm

Help create the artwork at Seattle Center at several crochet workshops during Folklife in the Next 50 Plaza Activity tent, just west of the EMP. I will teach beginners how to crochet chains and add onto the ever-evolving artwork. Expert crocheters welcome, too! All materials provided, but contributions of recycled fibers and yarns welcome, in any shade of blue!

Re-envisioned Installation, Community Workshops and New Multi-media Performance: MMMM returns to Seattle

Me crocheting at Dupen Fountain, Seattle Center

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.

In process at Dupen Fountain, Seattle Center

Paul installing at Agnes Scott College, Atlanta

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.

Crocheting at Cathedral St. John the Divine, NYC

Delridge Library, Seattle

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.

Zoe Scofield, 2009 MMMM performance

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.

Terraces at the Key Arena, Seattle Center

 

MMMM in 2012

I am always amazed at how this on-going project seems to come to a moment of closure, and very quickly is pulled to expand in new directions beyond what I even considered!  Mater Matrix Mother and Medium will be headed back this spring from NYC’s Cathedral St. John the Divine and evolving once again as part of the Next 50 program at the Seattle Center, as part of their Sustainable Futures focus area programing.  I’m very thrilled to be a part of the Next 50 and the enormous amount of cultural programing, not just culling from the region’s creative thinkers, but from around the country.  If you don’t already know about it,  “the Next Fifty, (is) six months of events and activities planned in 2012 at Seattle Center that celebrate the 50th anniversary of the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair, the legacy it left to the region, and the opportunities ahead during the next 50 years.”  ‘Events and Activities’ doesn’t begin to sum it up, with this line up of focus areas, it would be hard not to find something to engage with:

Last days of Seattle summer recap: NEPO 5k walkers/crocheters, making support for MMMM in NYC

I’ve finally had a moment to digest and remember what great fun I had at the NEPO 5k on September 10th before we had to fly out to NYC to begin the newest installation of MMMM.  Paul, Hazel and I set up a Community Crochet station at the stunning turquoise and red Korean Pagoda in Daejon Park, with piles of shredded fabrics and yarn, tons of sun surrounding the pagoda, a strong breeze and just enough tree buffer to make I-90 sound like the ocean.  Like most of the art stops on the route –  a 5K-long stretch of art events, installations, performance, happenings and galleries — we spent about 2 hours alone, then a deluge of people as they all made their way to us, all seemed happy to take a rest out of the sun and have some water and crochet a bit.

All seemed enthused and engaged by the long walk and comradery of the blend of art makers, art viewers, neighbors, friends, bands of performers and the ever-shifting site and cityscape.

Map of NEPO 5K through the city

Map of NEPO 5K through the city

My lovely first guest and I talked about her visceral reaction to the female crusifix hung at Cathedral St. John the Divine she has seen in the 80’s. And then with the crush of people arriving, it was non-stop teaching and crocheting!

Unlike most of MMMM crochet events over the past few years — where production is relaxed and process-oriented — this time I really needed to crank out the crocheted ropes to accommodate the scale of the Cathedral, with some of the columns 40 feet in diameter.  At the end of the day, I thought we had enough crocheted ropes but Paul and I still had to crank out more our first two days in New York, using up every last bit of fabric I had.

But there were still a few skeins of yarn left in my suitcase to spend an afternoon crocheting on the grounds of the Cathedral with some New Yorkers…….more pictures of that to come.

The connection between making the actual supports for the installation and the way Seattle has continued to support this evolving project is not lost on me.  So thank you for the send-off Seattle and  NEPO 5K-ers!

You can also still support this project traveling to NYC through my Kickstarter campaign to raise the funds necessary to cover some of the shortfalls from time off from work, materials, shipping and travel expenses.  I have 9 days left to raise 40% of my fund-raising goal …it’s getting very close but not there yet.  If you don’t know how Kickstarter works, you must meet your financial goal or receive none of the money…yikes.  Deep thanks to the 34 backers who have already pledged, you don’t know how heartening your support is in this uneasy time for my family.  Seriously, thank you!

And thank you Klara Glosova for a triumphant event to celebrate the community-driven art activity blossoming in our time.

Two of my favorite people in the world , Vis-a-Vis Society!

Two of my favorite people in the world , Vis-a-Vis Society!

Check out the slideshow for more images of the day and the James Harris after-party Bavarian Beer Garden.  There should be Polka at every art event!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.