i can't believe the opening at rare device was already a week ago. this week has been a whirlwind of catching up on all the things i had put on hold while getting ready for the show.
it was a really nice opening. Lisa + Rena [of rare device] are super kind and supportive and it was a treat to have my parents, and husband, and baby, and father-in-law at the opening. it was also a treat to meet some folks for the first time, and see some friends who managed to make it, even though i gave out the wrong address. [oops. baby brain!]
so the body of work i made for this show is super duper personal [i know... most artwork is personal, but in this work feels even more so]. when my grandmother was sick with lung cancer i tried to make sure and visit her in LA as much as i could. once she found out i was pregnant she sat me down at one of our lunches [we always went to lunch at nice restaurants] and told me that i was going to inherit a good chunk of money. she said i could use it however i wanted, but that she really thought i should use the money to build a studio in my backyard. especially since i was about to have a baby which was going to change my world more than i could imagine [she had sparkles in her eyes when she said this. boy was she right].
thanks to my grandparents - AND the incredible building design of grub [ bug's partner ] i now have a space that is mine all mine literally 10 steps from my backdoor. [i know i still have to show you it. i've been waiting to make this little movie... haven't done it yet. it's on the LIST].
i felt it was incredibly important for the first real work i did in the studio to somehow pay homage to my grandparents. because without them and their generosity i wouldn't have the studio.
and so the show was born.
here's the statement i wrote about the work::
His + Hers
a show about my grandparents
My grandfather passed away in July 2006. My grandmother in October of 2008. Apart from my parents no 2 people had a more profound influence on me growing up. Their personalities, quirks, likes, dislikes were woven into my life in such a seamless way. In many ways I owe my artwork to them. My grandmother as she taught me how to crochet and knit and was an avid embroiderer. My grandfather as he taught me to love tools and how to take things part. Both of them taught me to be curious and work hard [traits that serve artmaking well].
One of the functions of making art for me is acknowledging the past – connecting with and seeking to understand the nostalgic. I also often look to the “mundane” and the “domestic” - searching for small moments and objects that ultimately signify something greater than what they appear to be. I am also keenly interested in gender – what signifies and constitutes something as masculine or feminine? In rendering objects that may be seen as “male” or “female” can I alter or emphasize the perception, or can I create some sort of hybrid take on them as objects?
In my work I often leave long threads dangling – to me these threads emphasize the physicality and “drawing” nature of the work [they also pull the work away from “straight” embroidery]. The threads elude to time passing. In some instances they begin to hint at decay, things fraying and pulling at the seams. In my mind our memories start to have dangling threads as time passes – things are not as clear – they become fuzzy... The threads become longer. In other instances the thread highlights connections – moments where similarities are shared. And for me ultimately thread is a drawing device – like a pencil or pen – the thread simply has a different historical reference point than charcoal or ink. [The connotations of “women’s work” and “craft” are also things that intrigue me].
These pieces are about what I remember as a child with my grandparents. What they wore, what they drove, what they played, where cancer invaded their lungs. Although they are in essence highly personal there is, I hope, intrinsically a universality to them as well. I’m sure there are people who have their own memories or associations with whisks, pliers, track suits, and American Matzo. These are just pieces of his and her story.
all the images are in a set on flickr . some of the pieces have comments there [like which one is one of my favorites and why bacos].
they are all available for purchase on rare device's site. [although part of me wonders if anyone is interested in this imagery besides me and my family].
oh! i also am part of pikaland's latest zine "good to know" where she asks if you need to have qualifications to be an artist. you can get a copy here . there are lots of really great answers!
have a good weekend!