Somehow, slowly but surely, day by sometimes frustrating day, I am developing a visual lexicon.
“Integument”. Cotton, wool, stainless steel, electrical cords, heat-shrink tubing. 10.5" x 3.75". 2017.
I have always kept a written journal and have discovered lately that when I go back a few years and reread entries, I can see a mysterious process underway. I write down my thoughts, ideas, feelings, observations on any given day in an effort to move forward in my thinking, to both record and unburden my mind to make room for new thoughts (I am a consummate introvert - it can be hard to for me to clear my head otherwise). But then far from remaining abandoned on the page, these thoughts and ideas seem to somehow sublimate into what I am producing in the studio, sometimes years later, as if they have a mind of their own and decide to reappear in another form unexpectedly and with little help from me. It feels like a small miracle, like a gift being given back to me - "Here is what you were saying, n'est pas?" "Oh! Right! That's it!" It certainly seems to be a subconscious process over which I feel I am exerting no control. I think that this must be what Agnes Martin was referring to in her essay "Uncontrollable Beauty":
"It is quite commonly thought that the intellect is responsible for everything that is made and done. It is commonly thought that everything that is can be put into words. But there is a wide range of emotional response that we make that cannot be put into words. We are so used to making these emotional responses that we are not consciously aware of them until they are represented in artwork."
So I keep writing, keep showing up in the studio, even though at times I am so resistant to being there I literally scream at the loom and throw things on the floor like I am doing this week with my current project. In waiting for new yarn to start on another skin series, I decided to put a warp on the dobby loom and weave the Missouri Trouble overshot pattern, the only other coverlet pattern that has really ever called to me. I think I have been fighting against thinking that I shouldn't be wasting my time weaving another coverlet pattern, that I should be moving forward with the skin series, that this is where the "real" work is. But I lack faith in the mystery, for sure enough, after looking back though old journal entries, I found one from May 2015 that talked about weaving Missouri Trouble. Trust the process Selinde.
Missouri Trouble coverlet courtesy of Pat Franklin
Meanwhile, I am thrilled to have two of my newest pieces, "Chrysalis" and "Corpuscle" accepted for the
Chattahoochee Handweavers Guild's Biennial Exhibit of Textile Arts "Sacred Environment". They will be on view at the Art Station in Stone Mountain, GA from May 20-June 24. I decided to get them framed in acrylic boxes along with "Coeur", below. Very happy with the outcome, as they are enclosed from air and dust but not from light. I was afraid they might feel arid inside a box, but instead they seem to come alive. Solving this framing issue was a big accomplishment for me. Moving forward....
"Coeur" in acrylic shadow box