Since finishing the project for the Cheongju Biennale last fall, I have been occupied with other things - taking care of the nitty gritty details, and the sweeping changes, that are required when one experiences a large shift in life. I gave myself permission to not worry about what was happening with my art. And generally, I gave myself permission to just let what was happening happen without setting up too many rules or expectations about what it is was "supposed" to be like. So far, it is working out very well. But what about art? There have been moments when I felt, perhaps for the first time in my life, that making art just wasn't as compelling as it used to be; that maybe I could even live without it.
Yet, things needed a change there too.
After the Korean project, I felt I was most definitely, 100% certainly, finished with anything that might ever get mis-labeled as a yarn bombing project. The first time I made a piece of knitting for an object outside was in 1997. I think it is safe to say that I have fully explored that option and all its possibilities.
I have been working in my studio these days, making drawings and little samples for some larger ideas and generally just messing around. My goal has been to not get too hung up on what works and what does not and just let it all flow. It feels very refreshing and very fun. Who knew? Art making is fun!
In the back of my mind, there was this niggling thought - let's call it a fear - that if I shifted direction with my work then maybe no one would like it and I would not enjoy the opportunities that I have experienced with my large-scale knitting projects. You know, it is why a painter who gets famous in their youth for one thing and then keeps making a variation of that painting for the next 50 years. While I am hardly an art star, I have reached a place where I am "known for" something, and even at my level, it is scary to step away from that. It had to get to that point where I felt content to die in obscurity rather than make one more damn knit piece for a tree or lamp post. Hooray! I reached that place! I think I just heard a huge sigh of relief from the universe.
Oddly enough, I may yet not die in obscurity (but if I do, I know I am ok with it). Things are happening: art will be made, workshops will occur. You are invited.
This coming Friday, I will be at the NewYork Art Book Fair at PS. 1 with ILSSA from 12 − 4 p.m. Come visit us! We will be in the zine tent in the courtyard.
On Saturday, October 13th, I will be leading a cockade making workshop at the Old Stone House in Brooklyn as part of my Be A Rebel or Just Look Like One project for the collaboration, Battle Pass project. Cockades also will be available for sale in the Proteus Gowanus gift shop if you don't feel like making your own.
And....what have we here?
Wait a minute...I thought you said you were finished with big boxes of Lion Brand yarn in your living room? First of all, it is a small box. And second of all, it is not for a large scale outdoor project. It is for a wall-sized piece for an upcoming exhibition at ArtSpace in New Haven, CT, opening in November.
Details to follow.
* Sraddha - Sanskrit for "faith", pronounced shrad-DHAH. See: Yoga Sutra 1.20
PS. Related to two posts below....Shugen Sensei will be signing copies of his book, O Beautiful End, this Sunday at 12:30 at the Zen Center of New York City (500 State Street, Brooklyn). Come! Buy! I think you'll find it will be worth the trip.