The Performance is upon us! 7/16/09 at 6:30 pm

rehearsing

rehearsing

Thursday July 16th, 2009 at 6:30 pm  Mater Matrix Mother and Medium will reach its performative culmination with a site-specific performance by Seattle-based and internationally-recognized choreographer/dancer Zoe Scofield, with music for clarinet and megaphone created and performed by musician/composer Morgan Henderson .

 

Come join in this one-time experience at the Pond at Camp Long in West Seattle, 5200 35th Ave. SW.  

 

The Performance, created by collaboration between myself, Zoe Scofield and Morgan Henderson is a hushed reflection on the subtle dynamics of the Forest embedded in the urban environment, at once organic as it is artificial.  All three artists, in our own way, having responded to the quirky overgrown tranquility of Camp Long’s little pond, invite you to sit for a short time in quiet observation of the rhythms of this unusual site, heightening your focus through sound, movement, breath and site-responsive installation.

 

Mater Matrix Mother and Medium began with the creation of a 200 ft.- long fiber river, created in part through a series of over 30 community events all over Seattle, where I taught anyone willing to learn, how to crochet.  I then took the fiber “pools” into the forest of Camp Long and spent nearly six weeks on a ladder crocheting the river into the trees, flowing from 25 feet up in the tree canopy to nearly touching the forest floor.

 

The River, made up of thousands upon thousands of tiny moments and movements of individual citizens, integrated, linked together and interwoven into the natural environment, will itself embed Zoe Scofield in an exploration of how we ourselves are both literal and metaphoric manifestations of the living essence of water.  Our experience of water is both one of ultimate intimacy and also of civic structure.  This artwork, a unique blend of community engagement and personal inquiry, site-embedded installation and performance, embodies the ancient human practice of acknowledging our own physicality rooted in the cycles of water and how this forms the very foundation of human community.  Water, both mundane and miraculous, mirrors the everyday meeting of strangers and the tiny moments that begin to bond us together.

 

Please consider bringing a blanket to sit on during the performance but lawn chairs will obstruct others’ view.  Come enjoy some tranquility! 

 

This project is part of three temporary public art projects in the Water Calling series, and are commissioned by the Seattle Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs with Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) 1% for Art funds. The projects reflect SPU’s management of the complete cycle of hydrology for Seattle’s water resources from drinking water through drainage, and Restore Our Waters, the city’s initiative to protect and restore Seattle’s urban waterways.

 

Advertisements

Crocheting into the Woods!

I have been chomping at the bit to begin the process of installing this giant river form into the woods at Camp Long, so am excited to say I have started.  It’s a slow laborious process, like putting together a giant puzzle….but it’s really fun!

72 pauls net  And going to take me the full month with my hands full time in the woods.  I have so much I wish I could post on this blog, but it will actually have to wait until I get the majority of the river into the trees.  Like, I saw a giant owl the other day in Camp Long.  A Giant, chilling, mythology-making creature staring at me with dark black eyes like she could eat me if she felt like it…..it was amazing!

Staring at trees and chalk on the sidewalk: the last events! …. for now…

 

buzzzzz, getting polinated

buzzzzz, getting polinated

I am a busy busy  bee trying to finish up the wearable element for Zoe to rehearse with, as well as the planning for moving myself into the landscape of Camp Long , but there are a few remaining crochet events, beginning tomorrow.  I will be crocheting the afternoon away under the trees near my site, further getting to know the shapes and spaces.  I always forget this important part of my process…it feels like wasting time, but I’ve come to realize sitting and staring at my work, in-process, is very valuable.

working out of the studio.....ahhhhh

working out of the studio.....ahhhhh

 Usually in the studio, I have armatures in-process that I STARE at forever while I sew or crochet, etc.  With the armature here a living environment, as much as I wish this were possible, I haven’t been able to sit for hours under these trees that I will soon get to know very well.  Perhaps this can happen for the next outdoor works….

grass and silk

grass and silk

 

earlier in the spring at Discovery Park

earlier in the spring at Discovery Park

Then later Thursday evening, I’ll be coming home to my beloved neighborhood Columbia City, with the generosity of the Columbia City Gallery hosting me from 6-8. I know there are many art events thursday night, but if you are in the neighborhood, please swing by, even just for a bit. (and whoa!  check out the jurors of their latest call for art!!, Jeffry Mitchell, Suzanne Beal, and Lisa Harris)

Columbia City Gallery

Columbia City Gallery

 

 

Then, this weekend I’ll be at the Morgan Junction Festival in West Seattle for a bit, with Camp Long.  It will be my first chance to visit the new interactive public art piece by SuttonBeresCuller at Morgan Junction Park…

Salon, a series of museum-style frames stamped in the sidewalk that borders the neighborhood park. Artist trio SuttonBeresCuller etched and color tinted the “picture frames” that invite the public to create their own works of art. Make a masterpiece and meet the artists! 

The guys will be there at the new park, for it’s dedication from 10am – 11am.  These guys are doing all sorts of thrilling community-based art right now, I’m inspired!

My schedule w/links!

  • 11th of June, Thurs, noon – 4 pm, Camp Long, 5200 35th Ave. SW at Dawson   
  • 11th of June, Thurs, 6 pm – 8 pm, Columbia City Gallery,  
4864 Rainier Ave S.     

This weekend: May is almost over but MMMM crochet events are not!

Delridge Day

This weekend, like every weekend, it seems, is PACKED to the gills with things to do in Seattle.  When I first moved to Seattle, I remember seeing this old scary/fascinating boarded-up turn-of-the-century school while exploring West Seattle, which is now the AMAZING Youngstown Cultural Arts Center.  The building, now filled with life again, is itself like a giant bellows breathing big breaths of creative life back into the Delridge and West Seattle communities.  Come visit the Center this Saturday the 30th, 11-5  for “Delridge Day”, celebrating the community with music, multiple art projects including MMMM, farmer’s markets, hoola-hooping, break dancing, skateboarding, battling Chefs.  Wow!  Stop by!  I’ll be there from 11-4.  The Sew People will also be there from 1-5, you can repurpose some old clothes into some new kind of awesomeness!

150 measured 1

Then, on Sunday the 31st from 11 am – 3 pm, I’ll be at the Alki “Seattle Summer Streets” Party, hosted by Cascade Bicycle Club.   Alki Avenue SW will be closed off from California Way SW to 63rd Avenue SW, first for a race at 9am, and then for street party fun for the rest of the day.  Come find me somewhere down there (somewhere in the shade!!)

Here’s the whole list of the day’s activities

 

9:30 a.m. West Seattle 5K Run/Walk
11:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. Cascade Bicycle Club helmet sales & information booth
11:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. Bike Maintenance demos by Alki Bike & Board and Sustainable West Seattle.
noon – 4 p.m. Cascade Bicycle Club “Advocacy Alley” & staff info booth
noon – 3 p.m. Kids Learn to Ride classes
noon – 4 p.m. Bike arts & craft booth
12:30 p.m. – 1 p.m. Ryan Leech show
1 p.m. – 1:20 p.m. Kids’ Bike Parade
1 p.m. – 4 p.m. Cascade Bicycle Club Bike Blender
1 p.m. – 5 p.m. Rock music stage & skateboarding at Coastal Surf Boutique
2 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. Mini Bike championships
2:30 p.m. – 3 p.m. Ryan Leech Show
3 p.m. – 3:20 p.m. Kids’ Bike Parade
3:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Mini Bike championships

Dancing at the Sustainable West Seattle Festival a few weeks ago

 

Patti's hands

Patti's hands

I’m continuing to try to catch up with posting about all the great places and events I’m visiting, in no particular order.  A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of bringing my project to a booth at the Sustainable West Seattle Festival.

getting sunburned

getting sunburned

  I just happened to share my booth with West Seattle’s “Dance for Joy” studio, who spent their time teaching people to dance in the street!

Dance for joy, ya'll

Dance for joy, ya'll

 I also chatted it up with members of West Seattle’s Senior Line dance troupe, all decked out in fringe.  I want to kick my own shin for not taking their picture, drat!  For a good part of the day, I felt like I was in the middle of a musical, which is a pretty good way to feel. DSC_0097 Met many West Seattlites excited about this project sited in their neighborhood!  (Still hoping to catch up with some of them for crocheting this weekend when I’ll be at Delridge Day at the Youngstown Cultural Arts Center, 11am-4pm)!  I also began having the trippy experience (it’s now happened at least 5 times!) of having someone say to me “There’s this show down in Portland that you would love….”  or  “I saw this show at BAM last year, did you see it?, you would have liked it…”  That’s me, those are my shows…  It’s a funny experience, takes me off guard, I get tickled…I’ll say it.  But it also got me thinking about another benefit I’m gaining from this project.  Often, when I set up a huge installation, it’s like a gigantic marathon, all I can think about.  It goes up, there is an opening for a few hours, then I leave.  People see it, and I never really get to hear their thoughts about it.  A review may happen, and a friend or two may email.  But in general, there is not a lot of discussion with people I do not know about what I made, what they saw in it, how they felt about it, etc.  Being so out in public, so all over the city with MMMM, I’m getting these conversations that I have never had before.  Critics are one thing, friends, other artists are another.  But getting to hear what the general public thinks about your work is eye-opening.  Valuable.

Robert, chain maker

Robert, chain maker

DSC_0107DSC_0112DSC_0116DSC01453

not so precious

not so precious

Valuing Process over Product: West Seattle Library

very special yarn

very special yarn

It was a quiet day at the West Seattle Library a few weeks ago, which gave me some insight into what it means to really value process over product.

Robin with her yarn

Robin with her yarn

Robin stopped by with several balls of wool she had spun and dyed just for the project!  How incredibly lucky I feel to get to work with this stuff, and I’m giving a ball to my husband Paul Margolis for a new ‘crocheted second skin’ project he’s working on.  Robin and I worked and talked for four hours about the pleasure of figuring things out and making things ourselves (and the many uses of Youtube for the autodidact), from roasting coffee in her backyard, to butter making, tatting and making cheese.  It was a conversation I probably wouldn’t have had if 15 people had showed up, and I really don’t know if I would have ever met Robin if it weren’t for this aspect of this project,  to create a space for people to come together, work with our hands and allow the slow and meandering flow of conversation to happen.  It’s not about some preconceived notion of what dialogue or discourse about art should be, or even community.  I have to begin with why on earth I’m there, how this piece came to be, what it is about for me the artist, and then something just begins to happen, sometimes slow, sometimes hard.  And then, like making butter (really), it turns to something harmonious.   The process has opened me up more to taking people as they are, and allowing this work about creating conversation to mean a little something different each time.  DSC_0179 Meeting Robin also  gave me the opportunity to get a bit more earnest about this project being about ‘process’  rather than ‘product’.  Admittedly, I am a person with a drive and a particular amount of ambition — it’s just how I have been able to get things done  — and there is a certain part to ambition that views things in numbers, and ‘how many’.  Is the project a success if I don’t have hundreds of hundreds of people participating?  The last three weeks of meeting many, many people, and the huge spectrum of interactions from 2 minutes of describing the project in a coffee shop, to sitting and talking with a stranger for four hours — this stranger giving up four hours of their time to contribute to something I deeply care about — has made me come to understand that I also have to accept the process of making this River as it unfolds, rather than what ambition might have wanted.  One person showing up at an event allows for a different sort of interaction, just as important as feeling like a lot of people have made space in their lives to join this project.  Community is a word used to describe a group, but that group forms around the tiny moments of connection that happen between 2 people at a time.  I feel much more energized, moving around the city, more appreciative of the small moments of this project.

Robin's yarn in a system of pools

Robin's yarn in a system of pools