I am so overwhelmed this summer by the issues facing our world that I’m uncertain where to begin. But, the process of creation is literally “the beginning” so, it is where I must start. Creation through weaving and yarn spinning is my therapy and process for clearing trauma held in my heart/body. For my health, it is where I must begin.
I personally have experienced a recent minor adjustment as I usually teach several weeks of children’s summer art camps. I used to teach and administrate children’s camps out of my own studio and then about 5 years ago when I closed that business location and moved back into a “home studio” I started teaching through other venues. A last minute change with one of these venues has left me with a more open schedule this summer, so I have decided to pursue something I always had a desire to do…an artist’s residency!
I have dreamed about the possibility of traveling to and experiencing some secluded, quiet, creative locale, filled with space and time for the deep exploration of a creative project or process. But in the past, as a mother raising children (who are now adults) and a business owner, this remained a dream. Now, as I have reached a certain (milestone) age, I no longer have the obligations I was previously tied to. Yet, I still haven’t pursued the application process for a residency. So, instead this summer I have decided to “apply” to myself for an at home artist’s residency. This is my proposal...
Back to the issues facing me, both individual and collective, that I would like to integrate into the process of this project. First, I need to clear and clean out my own basement. After closing my business nearly 6 years ago I purged a great deal, but I also kept supplies that I hoped to incorporate into my artwork. My family has also accumulated a lot of objects in the 32 years we’ve owned this home and I would really like to move to a more simple, less cluttered lifestyle. So, “NOW” is the time to “Leave, Weave, Discard or Donate”
I would also like to include the further development of an older piece of mine that was created as a response to the Parkland High School shooting in 2018. Gun violence is beyond out of control and with the July 4th mass shooting in Highland Park it is hitting close to home. In 2020 I displayed this piece on my fence for an outdoor art exhibit during the pandemic shutdown, inviting my neighbors and the community to add ribbons with messages of hope and intentions for our future. I would like to further weave those messages into a larger piece that through the process of weaving may lead me to further insights about how to move forward as an active “agent for change” in this ongoing struggle our society has with its addiction to guns and violence. I have no answers NOW, I hope the meditative process of weaving leads me to some.
I would like to integrate the concerns for our climate crisis, even if that is just by experiencing the weather conditions directly each day and documenting it in my journal and on this blog. I would also like to find myself enjoying more time outside in my yard, neighborhood, and nearby nature preserves this summer. I also have a small garden and hope to integrate foraging for fiber and dye materials into my residency “process” as well.
It has been a desire to build a larger tapestry pipe-loom for a while and I intend to do that as a part of this residency. I will build this loom on my backyard deck and work outdoors for a period each day, experiencing the climate directly. I have also registered for Rebecca Mezoff’s “Summer of Tapestry”. As a part of that online course I will be working on small portable tapestries to build my fine tapestry skills, test color theories, and experience the beauty of nature and the outdoors.
The recent Supreme Court decision regarding the right to an abortion in our country has also affected my heart and soul. Women have long been treated as second class citizens and continue to struggle for equal rights and recognition. My fiber & textile art work has always been an attempt to value the work of women in our society and our world, to elevate these “feminine” crafts and skills in the eyes of the “art world”, to honor the history, the tradition and wisdom of “women’s work”.
My goal is to focus on this “at home artist’s residency” for the months of July and August 2022. I will document the process and progress on my blog and instagram account @ aStitchInTimeSaves.
- Integrate the three core values outlined in my overall mission statement for “A Stitch in TIme Saves”, which are: 1) Elevate the visibility and value of traditionally feminine art techniques. 2) Creatively reuse salvaged materials with an effort toward zero waste. 3) Use both art and the creative process as therapy to heal both the individual (self) and the world (collective).
- Integrate the previous work titled “When?” started as a reaction to the Parkland Shooting in 2018 then further displayed and developed during the summer of 2020. (core value #1)
WHEN? Every action starts with an idea. Every movement begins with inspiration. We have been offered an opportunity through this global pandemic to push the collective reset button. How will we as a community, nation and world utilize this opportunity? This piece began in response to the Parkland High School Shooting in 2018 questioning if not gun reform and safety measures NOW, then WHEN? I would like to broaden the scope and create an interactive community piece that incorporates the HOPES and DREAMS of all who would like to see new and better ways of going forward as we move toward living together in a post pandemic world. Please add your ideas, hopes, dreams and inspirational words to the ribbons on this piece. Or bring your own ribbons to tie on the next time you walk past. You may take a ribbon from the bag and return with it later as you wish, as well.
- Spend a designated number of hours each week clearing out my basement with a focus on integrating what I can into this weaving project. Determining what can be donated (take a weekly trip to a donation center) and organizing what I would like to retain for future projects. (core value #2)
- Create a large weaving outdoors on my deck to integrate the building of a pipe-loom. Spend time each day outdoors weaving as my process. (core value #3)
- Record the weather each day as a part of the process. (core value #2 & #3)
- Draw a card from the Creativity Oracle Deck by Zerner & Farber for daily inspiration. (core value #1 - female textile art!)
- Work with the online course “A Summer of Tapestry” with Rebecca Mezoff for inspiration and the completion of several small tapestries. (core value #1 & #3)
- Document my progress and process on my blog and instagram @aStitchInTimeSaves
I hold myself accountable to the above statement and parameters for my "at home artist's residency" for the months of July and August 2022.
Theme: “Leave, Weave, Discard or Donate”
Working Title of Artwork: “NOW!”
Artist: Pamela Penney