Day One: Leave, Weave, Discard or Donate

Today is Day One of my self-proclaimed "at home artist's residency".  I have always wanted to apply for a residency, dreaming of a period of time and a place devoted to creative exploration.  A process or a project come to fruition, inspired by the surroundings and the development of a project proposal and theme.  But, I've never applied to any.  My family and work always being my excuse. (But, maybe the fear of rejection being just as to blame) This summer some obligations evaporated and here I have a couple of months that I could devote to that dream.  Rather than apply at this time to a far away place, I have decided to devote myself to some long desired at home projects.  I have submitted an application to myself, and intend to carry out the overall theme of LEAVE, WEAVE, DISCARD OR DONATE through my two month at home residency.  You can see my proposal in my previous blog post HERE.

Day One:

Despite being greatly saddened by the mass shooting at the Highland Park 4th of July Parade yesterday, I was able to focus on starting my residency today.  In fact, in light of recent events, it seems necessary for my health and sanity.  I intend to build a large tapestry pipe loom to weave a piece that incorporates the "WHEN?" filet crocheted hanging that I created back in 2018 in response to the Parkland High School shooting.  I titled it WHEN? at the time hoping that that was the time we would begin to establish some gun reforms in our country to reduce these mass shooting incidents.  Alas, sadly that hasn't happened...yet.

I then displayed this piece on my fence for an outdoor exhibit during the pandemic in 2020 and invited my neighbors to write their hopes and intentions for positive changes and tie them to the piece. And that is how it exists currently.  I would like to "weave" that piece into a larger work that continues to act as a way to process my own sadness and frustrations, and that may also through my weaving meditations lead me to some ideas for active changes that I may be able to facilitate toward the resolution of our current addiction to guns and violence in the United States.

So, what did I accomplish today:

  • I spent two hours in my basement cleaning and organizing for my project.  It is my intention for this residency to Leave, Weave, Discard or Donate much of what currently exists in my storage.
  • I painted the connection pieces for my loom to protect them from rust as I intend to work out on my outdoor deck.
  • I finalized my project proposal and set up my media accounts.

The "before" of my basement clearing project.

Another "before" photo of my basement.

The positive aspect of a cleaning project: finding treasures created by my daughter two decades ago! It's like an anthropological dig.

Spray painting of the pipe fittings for my tapestry loom.

I kept being pulled back to watching tv news reports of the Highland Park shooting and seeing this flower bed that a decade ago I "planted" my crocheted mushroom sculpture for the Magic Garden auction & fundraiser. I'm heart-broken for their community and determined to take further actions to affect change. Today I donated to Everytown.org.

Part of my process for this project is to record the weather for the day. Today was stifling hot, I took some cardboard from my basement to the alley for recycling and it felt like I was walking through hot water due to the high humidity. Tonight they predict heavy thunderstorms.

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