wichita :: sen :: 1000 doilies - new piece
so... i asked for help. knowing that i was going to the ulrich. knowing i was supposed to make a companion piece to the 1000 doily piece. YOU - you lovely people sent me drawings and knots. i packed up a big bankers box and shipped them there to meet me.
but i really didn't have a plan. other than i knew there would be 1000. when we finished installing the big doily piece, i opened my box and started counting - both the knots and the drawings. at first i kept the drawings together by the people who made them. then, i began organizing them by place. maybe i should make a map. place the doilies in spaces close to where they came from globally.
when i counted the knots i touched them and thought about where/who they all came from. how far they had traveled. should i make a quilt? a really big seninbari belt? organized by color? by fabric color? by knot color?
then i flashed on something:
when i was in japan these - EMA - caught my attention at every temple/shrine we went to. thousands of people, leaving thousands of wishes.
what if i treated this installation like a wish wall? what if each drawing/knot made was like a personal little wish?
so i found giant nails. set up a grid.
as i kept sorting through the doily drawings i realized that i just might have 100 colors of drawings.
the doily wall has 100 colors of doilies. oh. that would be a nice connection.
at first i thought i'd stick the "main" color in front, and then fill the rest in behind with other colors to make even stacks. but as i sorted i realized why not let the stacks be what they are? if they have 1 doily they have one. the black pile would simply have over 100. i liked the idea of the numbers being dictated not by me.
so began the task of punching holes.
i also had doily drawings of various sizes. so i thought i'd "arrange" them so that you could see the different scales.
i also felt as though the thread that the drawings hung from should match the doily drawings themselves [also to link to the 1000 doily piece].
luckily there were a few more workshops to round out my numbers and get me to 1000 drawings. and the museum staff made sure to contribute drawings as well.
my mom helped me tie a thread to each drawing. every night we'd sort them, separate the floss, tie loops and then attach a loop to the drawings. while we worked we watched japanese samurai movies. [fitting don't you think]?
then i'd come and hang them up.
until finally they were all up on the wall.
this might have been one of the scarier projects i've ever undertaken. mostly because i didn't have a SOLID plan before starting, and because i knew i had a very finite time [2 weeks after putting up the other piece] to complete it.
but as is usually the case - pressure cooker situations are often good for the studio practice. and once the idea gelled, i felt like this was really a cool way to once again incorporate SO many hands, and my love and interest of color. and the nod to japanese culture [including my own experience with it] tied in nicely with the doily piece.
i made the museum a color chart - with some extra threads in case one broke. and of course i love IT as an object in and of itself.
when you are there... the air conditioning makes the pieces move. which is also a lovely bonus.
so... to all of you that sent drawings, and good wishes, and happy thoughts; and for those of you that sent knots - i haven't figured out how to use them yet, but i will... once i finish all the work for my upcoming show at walter maciel [opens november 8th. mark your calendars]. THANK YOU. i am once again humbled and grateful. the almost indescribable magic that happens when a piece is collectively pulled together is present in this piece. and i will be sending you all little parcels of thanks soon.
i don't think i will ever stop just making drawings and things that i do on my own, but this process - a social practice, has altered my approach to work in a very significant way. so again, thank you.
i'm excited to visit the two pieces together this weekend.