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Sunday, July 10, 2011

Walking In Love Spiral Comments

I set a book out at the outside edge of the spiral for viewers to write of their experiences. The tiny bits I looked into this book along the way brought tears of gratitude to me. Here I share some of them with all of you.

"As with love, the installation is all embracing. Thank you for bringing it to Sacred Threads." Carol Nicholas

"This just filled me...full of love and awe." Mary Bartrop

"It brought me to tears, some grief form my 102 year old Aunt's recent passing. Thank you- it is beautiful."

"The feeling is amazing. The concept is beyond words. Feels like a big hug."

"Very impressive, I'm 14 but this is truly amazing."

"A beautiful journey."

"When texture and space come together fabric has a new life and so do we."

"What a unique and beautiful take on a meditation labyrinth. Wonderful energy." Jen Tailman

"Thrills of JOY and anointing of peace."

"This is a thrilling exhibit- all glorious and different. Thanks to the sponsors for allowing this exhibit to be made public." Claudia Patil,  Reston, Virginia

"When I need some moments for peace and quiet, I'll close my eyes and remember the experience of walking through you serene memorial." Linda Cooper, Burke, Virginia

"Jaw dropping, spectacular, WOW" Andrew Cooper

"VERY CREATIVE! I loved it." Jay Luns, Culpeper, Virginia

"This is one of my favorite works. Thank you for bringing it here. The spiral arrangement, similar to a labyrinth, has special meaning to me as I contemplate the death of my own mother. GOIng in one side and coming out the other side of loss." Janet Marney "The memory goes deeper each time. I need to make panel for this."

"One of the most beautiful man made creations I've ever seen. Simply sensational." Soheil R.

"Spectacular and very comforting." Karen B.

"You must walk through and experience this. it's so moving and magical."

"I am moved at the renewed awareness of how we, as spirits and beings of light, are all the same AND wonderously unique simultaneously. Thank you for the experience." Lauren

"Thank you for the delightful inspiration in the panel :Love is a verb." I will use this inspiration to make a quilt with photos of grandchildre and family members." Kathy B.

This is but a taste of the many heartfelt thought viewers chose to share after their experience. Thank you to all who took time to write. It means so much to hear how the White Room of the Walking in Love Spiral affected you.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Diane Mercier, Walking In Love Artist

I met Diane a dozen years ago in a group that gathered from around Trinity County to spin. We met randomly every few months for many years until our dear Marne Wilkins passed away. I think her passing took the stuffing out of us. Such a life force leaving is a giant hiccup. Marne flew airplanes during World War Two and taught pilots how to fly. She wrote books including one on natural dye materials. I could go on and on. I know that Marne brought Diane and I together and I am grateful for that. We did lose contact for a few years but running in to Diane at the yarn shop in Weaverville while there was time to make a panel was a terrific serendipity. Diane is a seriously talented weaver. She has explored many fibers. One year at the Fiber Arts show at the Highland Gallery Diane had an exhibit showing scarves spun in different fibers including american buffalo. Fascinating. When Diane agreed to make a panel I had no doubt it would be something special. I wish I had photos of Diane and her panel but not yet. Diane says:

Fibonacci numbers are a series of numbers in which each number is the sum of the two preceding numbers.  They can be found in many things in nature, such as:  branching in trees, arrangement of leaves on a stem, an uncurling fern, pine cones or the spiral on a sea shell.  

My panel is handwoven of bamboo and silk yarn and the pattern, done in hand controlled leno lace, represents the Fibonacci number sequence.  It is in the interconnecting threads of our lives that we find meaning and love.  The continuous threads move in and out, over and under other threads...other people, other creatures, other living beings, other parts of the whole cloth that is our world, our universe.

For me, weaving this panel for “Walking in Love” is a celebration of life and love.


Friday, July 8, 2011

Striking the Walking in Love Spiral at Sacred Threads

I have the utmost admiration and love for the wonderful organizers of the Sacred Threads show. Lisa Ellis and Christine Adams and their committee (darling Vivian, Annabelle, Carol, Bunny, Barbara, and oh dear my memory loses the rest but I SEE your faces) bring respect, reverence, love and joy to the efficiency and organization that both hung and struck this magnificent display of fine art. You gals are awesome. The show in the words of a generation: Epic.

Tear down has brought me a sadness in the last two shows. But not this time knowing that the show will go on. Instead I rolled up my sleeves and Travis and I powered through the tear down. We were assisted in key moments by Patrick, the facilities manager, whom I saw hovering on the edges respectfully but still wondering if I could help Travis handle the steel beams and the plywood ceilings. Travis assured him I am solid. I am, but I am still limited in my physique so I am grateful that Patrick lent his muscles for a few moments saving me from who knows what.

There are always a few moments before the strike when I take myself through the spiral walking in love once more. Feeling the hearts of those who created the panels and savoring the peace inside, taking a few more photos as this will not be the same ever again. Travis, a professional photographer, will share some of his photos with the blog once he is back from his long journey driving across the country. This quiet is then followed by the relentless pacing as panels are removed, spiral taken down bolt by bolt by screw by turnbuckle by ladders by lighting retrieved and sweat and a few bumps on the head and more sweat and the heat and cicada serenade outside in the trailer for the repacking of precious cargo carefully rolled and wrapped to protect form the dirt of the road and this run on sentence could tell you of the pacing as we do not stop until it is finished. My plane created the deadline and I was grateful to have a ride to the airport from Annabelle with a little time to spare leaving Travis in the broiling heat of the parking lot strapping the steel beams to the top of the trailer, a last event before he hit the road, happy to be on his away in solitude once again.

I love the way a show transforms a space, the definition of installation, the magic this dance of construction created for all of those who would come to experience art. For the White Room of the Walking in Love Spiral to have found a place nestled in the middle of so many generously open and exquisite art pieces was a rare gift. Thank you Sacred Threads and all the artists and sponsors who who made it happen.

Sacred Threads Sponsors: , Giving Back Technology, LLC , Jinny Beyer Studio and Emma Soderquist

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Bridget Carson, Walking In Love Artist

Bridget Carson

Friends, family or lovers, we all share protection, warmth and affection within the encircling embrace of love.

Bridget was the first person I ran in to after the Highland Gallery confirmed their desire to see an installation built. I went to the grocery store and there she was in the baking aisle. There I was in the baking aisle. What can I say?

We spoke about the notion of a 1 foot by eight foot panel all in white. I sketched it in my notebook and showed her the first rough concept. Bridget stroked her chin thoughtfully and said she was intrigued. She is a trained fine artist. I wish it was possible to capture in a photo the embrace she rendered in thread. From one side a man, from the other, a woman. When the Hyampom School children went through the installation they were particularly taken with this panel. A unique contribution. This is one of those panels you simply must see in person to appreciate the delicacy.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Walking in Love on the Fourth of July

The buzz of cicadas and the heat create a trance. Sitting out on the lawn outside Arlington National Cemetery with ten thousand others waiting for 4th of July fireworks to begin over the Washington Monument is surreal. Children arrive by the bus load, making their way down in single file lines to the lawn in the front of the slope gently moving towards the Potomac. Groups of friends spread picnic blankets celebrating the day with salads, cupcakes and laughter. Families meet other families and play cards waiting for the late afternoon heat to give way to nightfall. A few drops of rain begin to fall and I wonder if the deluge proceeded by huge winds which left downed tree limbs all over the Mall the day before will happen again as I wait for the fireworks to begin. The Lincoln Memorial rises out the the treetops with Washington right on top. I am not exactly in a direct line of sight down the Mall so the Capitol building is slightly to the right. It is an amazing sight, the grandeur of the Capitol of the Unites States. I heard the voices of many languages in my wanderings around the heart of DC. It touches me that others from far away come here and join us in the enjoyment of art, music, culture, parades, pomp and circumstance. I noticed here and there the red and yellow robes of the Tibetan monks beginning to appear in preparation for the Dalai Lama to arrive. They begin a many day gathering (Kalachakra) for world peace. Meanwhile helicopters circle low overhead every fifteen minutes as we wait to see the moment when the day yields to dusk and the monuments are illuminated. Here and there along the tree line off in the far distant city and suburbs the blooms of firework flowers begin to erupt. At one point the entire tree line supports the colorful display of our way of acknowledging this important date.

My day was a full immersion into the life at the heart of this city. I heard the Air Force Band rehearsing The Battle Hymn of the Republic with Jo Dee Messina for the evenings performance at the base of the Washington obelisk. A multicultural festival filled much of the mall. Sponsored by the Smithsonian, I was able to wander a 'village' recreated to take me to the country of Columbia and savor the richness of art, music and food. Taking a few steps I moved to Rhythm and Blues and a few steps more into a journey to Africa. What joy! Sobering reminders at the Holocaust Museum and lessons on looking for propaganda. I have to admit to a few odd thoughts of my own as I studied these lessons and wondered how or if Love could be spread in so widespread a manner as to 'take over' our lives.

One of my favorite things encountered after hearing a stirring reenactment of Thomas Jefferson and companions speaking the words from our Declaration of Independence on the steps of the National Archives was the tunnel of light connecting the east and west galleries of the National Museum. For me it is remembering. I wrote a message of love to the soldiers serving overseas adding my few words to the many of all who had walked through the security search in order to find a place to picnic while waiting to see the fireworks from the vantage point of the base of the Washington Monument.

When darkness fell and blooms finally appeared over the Obelisk I was reminded of a gigantic sparkler going off over and over in many  colors, shapes and forms. Hearts, smiley faces, golden and white glow held suspended by a magical technology I do not understand. Radiating again and again ephemeral light. Light that many are drawn to see, experience, celebrate and delight in. Light that causes friends, families, lovers and troops high up in the tower behind me to stop everything else in their lives in order to give full attention. Ahhhh.

Monday, July 4, 2011

What about love?

After the long push to get the Walking in Love Installation to the Sacred Threads show I am taking a break. I suspect New York City can be considered a break. Hmmm. So much of everything that worries and cares melts away absorbed by unceasing inundation of sight, sound, motion. I think the best smells in the world exist here wafting out of the small cafes tucked underneath apartments stacked on top of each other. Walk a few more steps and the worst smells in the world are sure to be encountered before too long. People sitting on their front stoops escaping the heat of the apartments late in the day, a dinner enjoyed with friends walking by, life exists in such varied forms in this world, from wilderness to the exact opposite. Somewhere in the midst of all this exploration from one village to the next a young woman, tall and slender, walked by. Her face I no longer remember, except the large dark sunglasses. A busy intersection, people racing along following the 'walk now' symbols and jay walking wildly in all directions. I stood for a moment deciding which way to go, happily stopped in my tracks by her stark white tee shirt with jet black writing. A simple font style, nothing elaborate. No other imagery. Fluidly walking by, a motion absorbed into the crowds and disappearing before I could even fully register the details of this person...left with the message of her perfectly appropriate reminder...simple words to comtemplate...what meaning to make of this idea:
Love Is My Religion

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Joann Hereford,Walking In Love Artist

Joann Hereford

Panel Name:  Love Allows…

I started sewing quilt tops six years ago for my aunt’s church fundraising group in Texas.  I began making raffle and auction quilts for the Hawkins Bar Volunteer Department four years ago after I joined the Log Cabin Quilt Guild in Hayfork.

Up to this panel my quilt tops and quilts have been utilitarian – meant to be used as a warm bedcovering.  Some have been original designs, others based on patterns right out of magazines and books.

I think love is comfort, love is freedom, love is joy and happiness and love is fun.  When walking in love I’d be on a path – real or imagined.  The center block is a 1930’s block called “Paths to Happiness.”  Below it is “Woodland Path” and at the top is “Starry Path.”  If you love and are loved, love allows you to follow or make paths…down to earth paths as well as paths to the stars or paths in any old direction.

…and the butterflies???…they’re just fun.

Joann is just plain fun too. And talk about 'get 'er done', that's Joann! Enthusiastic, straightforward, creativity in abundance. Gotta love her!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Travis Boland, Walking in Love Artist

"He's a knight in shining armor," Fran said of Travis when I saw her into the airport to leave DC and Travis circled around in his truck. I have said he is an angel. Others on site while we built the installation commented on how kind he is. Without being asked he went around the entire exhibit hall and made sure the rods set up to support all of the art pieces for the Sacred Threads were properly secured. He said soothing words to me on more than one occasion during the build. My patience was worn thin by the time change and my own concern about how it would go. Travis often reminded me of the mission statement, "a joyful process". He operates in a humble manner with speed, efficiency, brilliant competence, humor and a calm and cheerful demeanor. Travis drove the trailer full of the Walking in Love spiral across the country while being chased by water spouts, lightening and heavy rain, stopping only to sleep in his truck when he was too tired to  continue. He arrived in the wee hours of the morning and unhitched the trailer, came to our hotel, took a shower, ate some food and then hopped in to the truck again to take Fran and I to begin to set up the show. This after sleeping at a rest stop in Maryland when weather prevented him from making it all the way to DC as hoped. Then after the build was completed he took the time to carefully appreciate all of the quilt art work, taking his artistic ability with a camera and capturing imagery honoring all of the artists. He really is one of the genuine "Nice Guys" in this world. Travis is the best.

Friday, July 1, 2011

My own walk in love

The past months have been a bullet train. Zooming from idea to an installation show traveling across the country has me marveling at the way life continues to surprise  and change everything. Making fabric panels holding the concept/feeling of love is an ongoing invitation and exercise to me. I made another panel yesterday. The last one before the show travels to Sacred Threads. So good to place myself in the creative ways of fabric. To allow the rest that comes when I dive in to deep create. Subtle joy while following the next right step in Process Quilting . I am, it turns out, a Modern Quilt Guild kind of gal. Who knew that this is a phenomenon occurring in the next generation of women taking up quilting. I have thought I am a bit of a strange quilter. But no. We are everywhere! I teach process quilting. The last two days I have had the great pleasure of using this technique to lead a workshop in making a panel in a day. Huh? Two days for a panel in a day? Well, the total number of hours was one day. I had to take care of some extreme car troubles that interrupted my time to do the workshop in one day. I mean, living out in the wilderness where there is no cell service and little traffic is not the place to let car troubles go neglected. I had my car die five miles from my home. That means get out of the car and hitchhike. There is no other way. Period.

When friends call me to ask how I am doing I can feel to my core the richness of a new panel and the ways in which taking care of everyday troubles are all becoming the place I choose to walk in love. Human dramas erupt around the installation. Invitation to walk in love. Not so simple things either. The very great temptation to let my own reactivity fly out of control. But somehow I find the way to respond rather than react, and I credit the exercise of making a panel with assisting me to respond in love.

The Walking in Love Spiral is alive. It is constantly changing. This third showing does not include Katie's panel. It is not the same without it and I did miss it while hanging the show. But I felt good about why it did not travel to Herndon, Virginia and the Sacred threads show. The panel had a different sacred mission. The spark of the idea to retire Katie's panel from the show and offer it to my sister-in-law Debbie came to me when my dad and I traveled together to visit my brother Phil. I wrote about Katie's panel in one of the first blogs. Her sudden death at age 26 propelled me even further in to this project. Katie was an extremely gifted artist and I felt her nudging when I made the panel to honor her life. The first months after losing a daughter is such a tender time, as if there is ever a time when it is not tender to lose a child. I brought the panel to Debbie. Her tears, the tenderness of placing the panel around her shoulders...I can no longer say that this is a simple art installation. It is dynamic. Alive. Growing with three new artists giving me panels to take to Sacred Threads even as one panel leaves. The show is never the same twice. No day in life is ever the same twice either. The invitation always exist to choose how I bring myself to this day. To any and every thing that arises in this day. Truly not always easy to come from the place of love, nor is this done perfectly. But I learn how to recognize the feeling of love in myself. Simply put, love is where rigidity is softened. Where grace lets me say a kind word instead of a sharp retort. I am not perfect in this. No way. But this walking in love installation has become a very interesting teacher. Who knew? I did not when I started out and followed the flash to make this happen. But I am grateful that life is anything but dull and we are a long way from love growing cold.