“Mandy Greer: The Ecstatic Moment”, until September 14, 2014 at The Hudson River Museum

The Ecstatic Moment installation, Hudson River Museum

The Ecstatic Moment installation, Hudson River Museum

 

“Mandy Greer: The Ecstatic Moment” is currently running at The Hudson River Museum, Yonkers , NY, now until September 14, 2014.
And thrilling news, my first East Coast solo museum show was recently featured in a profile in the New York Times.                                                                                           “Stitching Together Yarn, Memory and History” By SUSAN HODARA 

As well a review in the Westchester County paper “Enterprise News” by Jackie Lupo

The Ecstatic Moment is a multi-part immersive installation of fiber-based sculpture and costumes, photography, film and performance that encompasses the entire bottom floor of the museum.  It meanders through six different realms of colored walls and wallpaper, as well as sweeping up into their 24-foot high atrium.

 

MMMM Water Woman, 2009

MMMM Water Woman, 2009

Mater Matrix Mother and Medium: Waterfall , 2009-2013

Mater Matrix Mother and Medium: Waterfall , 2009-2013

Beginning with my on-going community-based project Mater Matrix Mother and Medium — begun in 2009 —   surrounding the two-story staircase, installed for the Hudson River Museum as a huge weighty Waterfall that you walk through and behind to enter the world below, referencing the massive sweeping beauty of the Hudson River just outside.  Once you descend, you are confronted  with your own image in a majestic floor-to-ceiling Eastlake Style mirror, engulfed by rough and beaded crocheted fiber tendrils of brown branching arms from my  Root Room installation.

The Ecstatic Moment entrance, with Eastlake style mirror and cabinet

The Ecstatic Moment entrance, with Eastlake style mirror and cabinet

EM_entrance_plaqueNext, an intricate Victorian ebonized case, filled with minerals I selected from the museum’s oddities when it used to be a natural history museum, along with stones I collected in Iceland and my travels across the country.  Surrounding this are pieces from my Zuster, Sweoster Systir photography series, a headdress made from yarn spun from my hair and my son’s , and a glittery beaded emerald chandelier from my work “Dare alla Luce”.

 

Earth and Forest realm

Earth and Forest realm

ebonized case ebonized_stone_detail

Dark Ferns, 2010, archival ink jet on watercolor paper

Dark Ferns, 2010, archival ink jet on watercolor paper

A photograph of my son embedded in the earth, his face ringed in turkey tail lichen collected from a Pacific Northwest forest and a blanket made from our matching hair, sits behind a large and delicate Victorian glass dome of many multicolored birds, from the Glenview Mansion on the grounds of HRM.  This is your introduction to the Earth and Forest realm, and the first experience of how the rest of the installation blends my history as an artist, natural history and historical objects of the museum’s collection of Victoriana and period decorative arts.

'Beholden" , 2010, archival ink jet

‘Beholden” , 2010, archival ink jet

Earth and Forest realm

Earth and Forest realm

green:brown bird dome Systir Headress_MMMMquilt

Double Green Man, 2011

Double Green Man, 2011

Along with work I’ve made from 2009-2014 –including elements specifically for The Hudson River Museum installation – I was given access to attic and basement storerooms  full of personal objects and collections from Hudson River Valley inhabitants from the past.  As someone who finds inspiration from dusty ruins and hidden secrets in fairy tales, this was like getting to briefly walk onto the set of Cocteau’s La Belle et la Bête, and take what I wanted!

gold_section_mirror

Gold_dome detailAfter this verdant realm comes The Golden Sphere, a small window into dark shadows and of a glittering gold netherworld.  Illuminated by the intricately beaded ‘Honey Moon’, photographs of my husband as earthen man, pulling gold from the dirt, rich photographs on cotton rag hang suspended in 19th century gilt frames separated from their original paintings.  Here too is a repeated theme of selecting mirrors from the HRM collection, this one a mahogany stared inlaid Moroccan style, creating infinite view points into hidden realms, as it reflects back layers of Victorian bird and wax flowers under glass among my own paper flowers.

The Golden Cage, archival ink jet print, 2011

The Golden Cage, archival ink jet print, 2011

Honey Moon_detail_2011

‘The Honey Moon’, 2011, beads, fabric, yarn, mixed media

gold bird_frame

The Ruby Heart, 2011. archival ink jet photography

The Ruby Heart, 2011. archival ink jet photography

Gold_Dome_Temple photo

"The Golden Temple" , 2011, archival ink jet photography

“The Golden Temple” , 2011, archival ink jet photography

Gold sectionMy strategy for working these vintage collections into the installation was mostly intuitive, looking for things that I simply desired, as any obsessive collector might.   It often led me to pieces that were damaged or odd in their beauty.  Pieces that might draw out connections and memories in my work, always remembering that these were artifacts that decorated and defined space in intimate personal lives now gone.  My work too is laced with my own life and experiences, my old clothes, my hair, my husband’s, my son’s; old baby clothes shredded and dyed, trinkets and baubles from my grandmother, mixed with junk drawer keys and stones and seashells from travels.

cabinet_detail_silver

silver-leafed stones and shells and natural history collections from Hudson River Museum archives in Eastlake-style Cabinet

coral_dome_hazel

Victorian specimen glass over coral from HRM collection

Krono_costume_cabinet

Dove, from Glenview Mansion

Dove, from Glenview Mansion

Notions of Travel moves through the next several realms, my own and the Victorian sense of exploration and the Cabinet of Curiosities of that time.  The Flesh/Lava realm, Ice/Water realm and Vermillion Room all contain work I’ve made inspired by residencies in Iceland, France and Italy.

"Vanitas", 2012, archival ink jet photography, shot in West Iceland

“Vanitas”, 2012, archival ink jet photography, shot in West Iceland

"Torrent", archival inkjet, 2012

“Torrent”, archival inkjet, 2012

The center piece of the atrium gallery is my installation “Every Moment Lost is Lost Forever”, a towering confection that portrays a lacy inverted volcano in peach-flesh tones, a ring of leather carrion birds spewing an ash made up of collections of silvery grey crocheted ribbons, silver-leafed bones, stone and shells among other things.   Influence by my time spent working in the volcanic landscape if Iceland, but also layered with other ideas of nature, destruction and regeneration.

"Every Moment Lost is Lost Forever" at Hudson River Museum

“Every Moment Lost is Lost Forever” at Hudson River Museum

'Every Moment Lost is Lost Forever' , from above

‘Every Moment Lost is Lost Forever’ , from above

 

 

How this installation came to be:

Two years ago, I was invited to visit The Hudson River Museum, and spend time in the Victorian River mansion Glenview, on the Museum’s grounds, to find inspiration.  I walked through room after room of dense patterns of wallpaper, intricate carved wooden staircases and wall cabinets filled with books, shells, curios and marble statues from around the world, birds and music boxes, delicate china dishes and the heavy sense of Victorian desire to tame the chaos of nature.  Nearly every surfaces was decorated with imagery of stylized and contain nature.

Glenview mansion, on the grounds of the Hudson River Museum

Glenview mansion, built in 1877. On the grounds of the Hudson River Museum

Glenview textures

Glenview textures

glenview_bookThis has always been an influence in my work, the desire to create an entire intimate world, using these styles of the domestic interior, but with the sense that nature’s entropy is reclaiming and devouring it all, by shredding up and knotting together the flotsam of my own life with the past, both materially and in concept.

Pink Sitting Room of Glenview

Pink Sitting Room of Glenview

I found myself resting in the pink/peach sitting room of Glenview, listening to a large hand-made music box, late November sun setting on the River and filling the room with golden light and dust motes.  I wondered about the ghosts of the daily private life that was lived in the spaces, when this once was a family home, and all that had changed.

The Glenwood Power Plant on The Hudson River

The Glenwood Power Plant on The Hudson River

powerplant Outside the window, two large smokestacks loom of a Glenwood Power Plant built on the river, now too a ruin of what it once was, but a reminder of the creep of progress that had overtaken the pastoral fantasy of  original inhabitants of Glenview, ending its period as a family home.  But like the intertwined nature of Eros and Thanatos, creation and destruction, stasis and renewal…the mansion now houses a vibrant life as the community’s center for art, history and science.  Gone is the private, but the home now nurtures more families than it ever did.  One energy that over-takes and destroys often recreates, and in turn is devoured again.

EML_underBI took this cyclical idea, the flesh pink of the room, the imagined billowing coal smoke, the birds under glass, the shelves lined in collections of coral and ebony, and it became the volcano of desire, of what fuels us consumes us and begins us again.  The installation traveled to Italy and Paris, accumulating its own collection of silver-leafed stones and bits of wood to add to the collection from Iceland and drift wood and shells from the Pacific Ocean.

EML_full_stage

Skaftafellsjokull Skrimsli, 2014, archival inl jet photograph.

Skaftafellsjokull Skrimsli, 2014, archival ink jet photograph.

The ocean, the river, the stream, the glacier, the iceberg lace themselves through the entire experience of the overall installation.  Actual rivers and shores populate my films that are in every realm, adding their ambient sounds like a circulatory system throughout the installation.  The Ice/Water realm, flanked by MMMM Waterfall, shows images and costumes from a month-long January residency in Iceland, turning glacial ice into intricate patterns mixed with a woven and crocheted cape I made to wear and respond to the incredible Jökulsárlón iceberg lagoon.

'Myvatn Fire', 2013, archival ink jet photograph

‘Myvatn Fire’, 2013, archival ink jet photograph

5MB_Jetty_shame

“jetty”, 2013. archival Ink jet Photograph. shot at Jökulsárlón, South Iceland

MMMM_goddess

'Kvera Blue Bird', 2013, archival ink jet photograph

‘Kvera Blue Bird’, 2013, archival ink jet photograph

5MB_three_states_mirror

The Waters of Your Face, 2009, archival Ink Jet Photography, with choreographer Zoe Scofield

Then to the farthest realm in the galleries is the Celestial Realm, with charcoal walls and dramatic lighting on the glittering stars of the Seven Sisters from Dare alla Luce, reflected in another immense Eastlake-style mirror inlaid with mahogany and ebony.  The center of this realm is filled with a massive intricate black Pelican Goddess enmeshed in 16 feet of black beaded crocheted tangles and paper chrysanthemums ,with yards of white beaded ‘milk’ flowing onto a 12 foot spiral referencing both an over-sized braided rag rug and a galaxy.

entrance to the Celestial realm

entrance to the Celestial realm

Dark Rm_pelican

Pelican, close up, 2008The figure of the Pelican is one I began when my son was a nursing baby, inspired by Tintoretto’s The Origin of the Milky Way from 1580, which depicts Hercules being put to the breast of Juno.  When she pushes the baby away – her husband’s illegitimate child – her breast milk sprays across the sky, becoming the Milky Way.  I choose to create the night sky as a Pelican Goddess because of a legend about the mother pelican piercing her own breast in times of famine to feed her young with her own flesh.

Milky Way, detail, 2008This symbology was popular in Medieval European art as a representation of Christ.  As a woman actually feeding a child with her body, I wanted to reclaim the symbol as a female deity to represent my own bodily experience, to record both my mundane everyday experience of early motherhood but written in the awe inspiring text of celestial phenomena and ancient mythos.

'Mustard Potion', 2014, archival ink jet photography on rag paper

‘Mustard Potion’, 2014, archival ink jet photography on rag paper

mustard_iron_elephant

Dark rm_euridiceFor The Hudson River Museum installation, the tail of the Pelican engulfs a white marble sculpture of a woman, Euridice from 1870, breasts bared, twisting in a spiral with her hand pulled towards the pelican with black satin ribbons.  This is my favorite pairing of my work with a HRM collection piece, the interrelated qualities of material, mythology and imagery with works around the room is electric.  Around her are other marble columns from the collection covered in carved flowers and holding my collection of lava stones from Iceland, sewn fabric lilies, silver leafed bones.  The emotive quality of the statue is intense longing or mourning, I imagine an intensity pulled from the mythology of her story of separation from Orpheus, connecting my work to the craft of another artist,  Riccardo Grifoni’s interpretation of ancient stories.

MoonAcross from the this white sculpture – whose patina is due to a fire in the 1950’s, which could not be removed from the warn parts of the marble, and consequently deemed the sculpture not quite appropriate  for exhibition  — hovers the huge orb of the moon, made up of hundreds upon hundreds of beads, trinkets, jewelry, stones and shells.  Next to this is a self portrait of myself as “Stone Mother” shot in Snaefellness region of Iceland, equating my own internal landscape as geological.

moondetail

"Stone Mother", 2012, archival ink jet photograph on rag paper

“Stone Mother”, 2012, archival ink jet photograph on rag paper

Celestial Realm

Celestial Realm

Diagonal from Euridice’s hard white flesh is a dense lush woven and crocheted white cape worn by my son in both photographs and film, as he portrayed his interpretation of the living quality of the Snæfellsjökull glacier, completing the sense of the duality of the body and landscape as hard and soft, delicate and strong, inanimate and alive, intimate yet macroscopic.  The remaining landscape of the room is populated with an intricate Raven — companion of Hecate, the old goddess of the dark and decisions–, and enactments of other familiar archetypes by myself and my husband artist Paul Margolis, shot in various extreme locations on residency in Iceland. 

Snaefellsness Glacier Boy, 2012, archival ink jet on watercolor paper

Snaefellsness Glacier Boy, 2012, archival ink jet on watercolor paper

"Caved Father", 2012, archival ink jet photograph

“Caved Father”, 2012, archival ink jet photograph

"Hecate's Raven", 2011, leather, wool, fabric, mixed media

“Hecate’s Raven”, 2011, leather, wool, fabric, mixed media

raven detail
The final realm, The Vermillion Room is dominated by a slowly rotating forged ring of large turkey vultures, shredded wings spread over a mass of crocheted, beaded and blown glass ‘blood’, culminating in the strong geometry of a quilted compass rose spreading across the floor in 4 directions.  This structure, dealing with time, direction, blood, destruction, regeneration continues my fascination with the carrion bird, this time a more naturalistic portrayal than the mythical carrion birds in “Every Moment Lost is Lost Forever”.

vermillion_wide-shot

Blood Compass Rose, detail, quilted fabric, 2014

Blood Compass Rose, detail, quilted fabric, 2014

Vermillion_blood_Orph_PGI’ve encountered turkey vultures on several hikes in my home state of Washington, but none more dramatic than once on an elk carcass along the Naches River.  Along with three vultures were two golden eagles and a number of large ravens and a few magpies.  Having just lost a friend, I sat and watched the events across the river in solemn quite that slowly turned  to appreciation at the work that the birds do in the cycle of life.  Often harbingers of death in mythology, the birds actually do no harm, nor do they kill.

Vermillion_blood They turn death into flight, a notion that filled me with relief and awe as this congress of huge birds flew in entwining circles in front of me, as the carcass was above me on a rock ledge.  Further down the river, I collected the sun-stripped bones of a dog and a deer, which a few became a part of the silver expanse of the installation.

'Conjuring" 2014, archival ink jet on water color paper

‘Conjuring” 2014, archival ink jet on water color paper

Furnal, 2014, archival ink jet on watercolor paper

Furnal, 2014, archival ink jet on watercolor paper

Surrounding the vulture compass rose are photographs and video created on my recent residency in Normandy, France, and depict a character I took on called “The Poppy Goddess.”  Traveling with my family, the bucolic landscape all around me was in deep contrast to intensity of sadness I felt throughout my son’s studies of World War II.  As a youngster, he became enamored with the machinery and the archetypal heroics of soldiers.

Poppy Sister, 2014, archival ink jet photography

Poppy Sister, 2014

"Northward", 2014, archival ink jet photography

“Northward”, 2014, archival ink jet photography

Wearing the intricate costume myself, it began to feel like a sort of armor, protecting or numbing myself to my ambivalence with my son’s attraction to the hero stories of war. Because of the multilayered mythology of the poppy flower – both of remembrance and the opium-induced forgetfulness of Demeter, I began to think of the Goddess as just one of an entire order of sisters, who assist (particularly mothers) with mourning the loss of children to war, who might lead one to a path of forgetting, and into dream as the only way to ease pain, and survive.

"Ember" 2014, archival ink jet photography

“Ember” 2014, archival ink jet photography

Vermillion_behind PG

“Poppy Goddess”, fiber mixed media costume, 2014

Orpheus, 1900

Orpheus, 1900

A companion to my Poppy Goddess costume in the gallery stands a 1900 bronze of Orpheus from the museum’s collection, and traced back to the iconic ruins of Untermyer gardens in Yonkers.  Both figures stand as if in conversation with a photograph echoing a lyre form, created from brambles, mistletoe and crocheting arranged on a Norman hedgerow ruin.  Naked in opposition to the cloaked goddess, both figures carry their own mythology of traveling to the underworld,  immeasurable loss and the desire to outwit death — again a thrilling pairing of my work with a turn of the century artwork, both exploring the recurring presence of mythos in the drama of our everyday life.

Orph_Lyre_PG5MB_vermillion lyreEach realm featured a series of my films, most of which you can watch here. “The Ecstatic Moment” exhibition was the premier of two new films, one in the Vermillion room -Hypnos, and the other in Lava/Flesh realm -Every Moment Lost.

hypnos from Mandy Greer on Vimeo.

Every Moment Lost is Lost Forever from Mandy Greer on Vimeo.

 

 

'Glacial Wind Witch', archival ink jet photography, 2012

‘Glacial Wind Witch’, archival ink jet photography, 2012

Currently in my shop,  I am featuring a number of archival prints from “The Ecstatic Moment”.

In Limited edition: 25 signed and numbered prints Printed on paper sized 11” x 14” or 12″ x 8″.  Archival Ink Jet Photograph on archival Arches 100% cotton rag paper, 310 grams.This museum quality paper gives my images true deep color on a matte finish.

5MB-craterwoman

 

 

The Hudson River Museum produced two great videos about the exhibition.  Enjoy!

 

Join me in the Wilderness for Wild Times Project workshop! Hosted by The Frye Art Museum

alpine ginger

Snoqualmie Pass, on the PCT

sno sign        I’ve just returned from a location scouting expedition in the Snoqualmie Forest for a project I’m so looking forward to with the Frye Art Museum’s presentation of Susan Robb’s Wild Times Project,  coming up on the cusp of summer, as it heads towards fall.  I’ll be facilitating an experimental sculpture and movement workshop that combines many things I love, many things that define me as an artist, and sharing this with a de facto performance company of people who come together to go on this journey with me (sign up!).  The description provided by the Frye is rather small, and I’m getting so many inquiries about the project, so I want to go into more depth and background about just what it is we’ll be doing.

denny creek_rocks

Denny Creek

First off, the timeline details! 

This will be an immersive workshop from September 3-7th, 2014.  Wednesday 3rd-Thursday 4th, we will be working together at the Frye Museum Studio from 10am – 4pm, in Seattle.  Then Friday-Sunday, the 5th-7th, we’ll head to the wilderness of Snoqualmie Pass, and camp together, work together and share food together on the banks of Denny Creek.  We’ll use the natural environment as studio and backdrop and collaborator.  Among other things, our activities will include a day hike to Franklin Falls to use as a performance site.  And then our final day, we will hike a portion of the Pacific Crest Trail, performing “Trail Magic” – acts of simple generosity for Thru Hikers.  We’ll end our time together about 6pm on Sunday the 7th, but participants are welcome stay the night, departing our campsite on Monday morning.

On the banks of Denny Creek

On the banks of Denny Creek

Franklin Falls

Franklin Falls

So What’s this all about?  What Will We Do and Why?
This project will be in conjunction with The Frye Museum’s presentation of Susan Robb’s ‘Wild Times’ project on the Pacific Crest Trail, which if you haven’t been following along on her blog, do that now!  My contribution to a variety of programming for her project  with the museum,  grew out of a conversation this past winter with Susan, who was taking a workshop at my studio and everyone was very excitedly asking all sorts of questions about her impending adventure.  Clearly the desire to seek wildness, both internally, in our daily lives and to literally disappear into a space unknown hit a nerve with everyone, including me.

Susan Robb on the PCT, well actually summiting Mt. Whitney!

Susan Robb on the PCT, well actually summiting Mt. Whitney!

My work has often been about the anxiety and desire of the human animal, teetering on the boundary between the chaos of the natural world and our constructed follies of civilization.  I’ve examined our tenuous and ambivalent relationship to nature through our myths and fables, our creation of gods and goddesses to harness, tame and understand the brooding magic that calls to us from the dark boughs of the forest (or the desert or the mountains or the moors).  The earliest expressions of art, movement, voice were grounded in ritual that both attempted to repel the chaos and strengthen communal bonds to insure survival, and to revere the majesty of the life-force of everything wild, and usually these shamanistic activities were joined in by the community at large, ordinary people slipped in and out of identities of the natural divine.  We fear it, we long for it; this is the subtext for so many human activities, and certainly a continual thrum in the pulse of the spirit of why I am a maker.

'Conjuring" 2014, archival ink jet on water color paper

‘Conjuring” 2014, archival ink jet on water color paper

Dark Ferns, 2010, archival ink jet on watercolor paper

Dark Ferns, 2010, archival ink jet on watercolor paper

So, like the pensive seeker who follows the White Stag into the wood — to either be healed and emerge, or be lost forever — since 2010, part of my process of making has been to take myself and family into remotes parts of the world, where we make things together and respond to what we find there, where the small community I am bound to by blood and love becomes my subject in performance, film and photography.  I have always been aware that my aim was to get us lost, so that we could find each other.  In extreme or raw circumstances, we find what is most essential to bring us together.

Double Green Man, 2011

Double Green Man, 2011

 

Snaefellsness Glacier Boy, 2012, archival ink jet on watercolor paper

Snaefellsness Glacier Boy, 2012, archival ink jet on watercolor paper

This Trail project will be a way to share this somewhat private process with a larger group, to make you who join me, our interactions with each other as makers and with the wild, the subject matter of a new film and photography series I am working on, as well as a laboratory for developing movement ideas and motifs for a larger installation/performance series I am just beginning to develop for the future.  I’ve wanted to knit together this process I have taken on with my family, as well as my sometimes-role as teacher, and also as a facilitator of communal space that has taken shape in my social practice works.  I’ve seen it countless times in these spaces I’ve hosted; people making together with their hands breaks down social barriers, begins community.

Community Crochet at Agnes Scott College, Atlanta

Community Crochet at Agnes Scott College, Atlanta

Community Crochet at NEPO 5k, Seattle

Community Crochet at NEPO 5k, Seattle

Making things, making community:
For this project, we’ll be making a wearable ‘headdress’ out of collected natural materials, hand-dyed vermillion silk ribbons and vermillion dyed wool.  Each participant will gather natural materials from their daily life, moving through their own natural/urban thresholds finding unseen bounty in forgotten places.  I’m collecting piles and piles of waist-high grasses and ivy vines from an overgrown lot in my neighborhood, not seeing it as trash but raw materials.  I’ m also collecting sage and lavender from my garden, thistle pods from an abandoned round-about, and rowan berries from a neighbor’s yard (with permission, of course).

raw material!

raw material!

Furnal, 2014, archival ink jet on watercolor paper

Furnal, 2014, archival ink jet on watercolor paper

I’m asking participants  to move slower through their surroundings, move with a Dérive state of mind, shift off your predictable paths and be gleaners, find the raw materials that are free and plentiful around you.   We’ll bring in things to share from our lives, and share over tea and handwork.  I’ll be teaching crocheting chains and the more complex crochet ‘mandala’ forms prominent in my work.  We’ll stitch, sew, twist, knot and tie to make structures to alter our bodies, our movements, our human identities.  I’ll also be making vermillion silk tunics for everyone, to wear with our headdresses in the woods (easy to stuff in our packs and take out to look amazing!)

Disappearing into a small wild place, forgotten, unbridled...

Disappearing into a small wild place, forgotten, unbridled…

 

harvested!

harvested!

The headdresses will become tools, not necessarily the end goal or product, but the vehicle to get to the goal: developing a responsiveness to one’s own body in relation to the natural site and to the other participants through slow process.   As I have observed time and again in my community-based projects and workshops, making with our hands slows the darting mind down, loosening up the social interface, creating a space where people who do not know each other can slowly and intuitively learn about each other, even with times of comfortable, thoughtful silence.  I’ve also seen a sense of camaraderie develop through making, where people often slide into archetypes depending on who else is there: as example ‘elder’, ‘seeker’, ‘survivor’, ‘witness’, ‘wounded’, ‘teacher’, ‘child’. I will guide participants through movement, writing and vocalizing, to cultivate this example of how community germinates and ritual persists.  We’ll use who each of us are to create our movement scores.

Poppy Sister, 2014

Poppy Sister, 2014

These are the ‘tools’ I use when developing my own performative and site embedded work.  For instance, we’ll follow many of the same steps I took with my collaborators  in crafting the “Saltus Chori Aevum” performance, which is an apprenticeship model.  I’ve lined up several really incredible guest Seattle-based performance artists who will share with us their techniques for digging deep, including the incredible Jessica Jobaris, the choreographer of “Saltus Chori Aevum”, and luminescent multidisciplinary performance artist Kate Ryan, founder of the Jakku House Communal space project, among many other things!  We are so lucky to work with these incredible culture-makers.  With their guidance, we’ll be creating individual scores and motifs, using writing, movement, and vocalizing, but working with the umbrella of concepts and structures I’ll bring to the table to combine these elements into group performance.

Jessica Jobaris in "Saltus Chori Aevum"

Jessica Jobaris in “Saltus Chori Aevum”

Kate Ryan's Jakku House

Kate Ryan’s Jakku House

Then in the woods, we’ll play with our scores by exploring the forest, the banks of the creek and culminate with a day at the base of Franklin Falls, where we can wade in ankle deep and sing and shout to the roar of waterfall.  The Falls are a curious place, a meandering hike deeper into the forest, climbing around a rocky cliff to a private cove, but also just above the falls is a black swath of Interstate 90, as if right there the two forces of wild and civilization battle it out.  But then they harmonize.  The roar of the river and falls blend with the roar of the trucks, and it all sounds like water! It’s a perfect place to realize this project.

falls_90

I-90 looming above the falls

to the falls

the final approach to the falls

One more idea we’ll explore that fascinates me ;  abandoning the idea of audience, for a time.  Like Sacred Harp singers, who sing for themselves, the spirit and the group facing towards each other.  We’ll be each other’s mirror.  I have often found something absurd and freeing when I am both filming and being the one filmed for a piece, switching between roles where they just start to blur.  Nature will accept our song.

 


Getting Lost to Find Something. In many ways, I see Susan’s journey and the journey of all thru-hikers reflecting this idea.  Maybe it is entirely different.  I’m so grateful for her efforts to share this journey and instigate ‘wildness’ in others.  Though they all walk the same path, each journey is their own deeply personal exploration of the self in communion with the extreme, but also a shifting and almost esoteric community that moves along the spine of the continent.  They become the Hero to each of their own stories, and an internal language develops.  We cannot know what they know or be a part of that community, but I have the desire to take on the role of another archetype, that of the Helper.

Susan on the PCT, on the way to Forester Pass

Susan on the PCT, on the way to Forester Pass

We’ll use the Hero’s Journey story structure as a jumping off point, as well as ideas of caretaking, pilgrimage, sanctuary/shelter, and the practical purpose of ritual.  We’ll spend time together making smudge bundles for fire ceremonies, explore knot magic, the importance of the ritual of sharing food, and an afternoon making flowered standards in Alpine meadows.  Lastly we’ll honor the actual journeys of the PCT thru-hikers by carrying delicious treats, water and small bundles of generosity up to the trail – Trail Magic-  moving beyond thoughts and ideas towards simple and profound acts.

Our hearth, we'll do night-time fire ceremonies with talismans we make.

Our hearth, we’ll do night-time fire ceremonies with talismans we make.

beaver lake

Beaver Lake, outside of Snoqualimi Pass….one site for our Trail Magic

flowerbundle

Gathering wildflowers bundles to make flower standards (yes, those are ski lift chairs!)

wildflowers

Sun-soaked alpine meadows (or almost-alpine)

Some nitty-gritty details:  You don’t have to be a performer or sculptor to join in, just be a willing adventurer, curious and creative!  I am most happy as an artist when on shaky ground trying something new, and learning to use it as new vocabulary.  This will be exploratory for all of us!  Join in!  Sign up here with the Frye Art Museum!
You do need to have some experience with camping and some experience with day hiking.  If you have never done either, this might not be the project for you.  We will be going on several day hikes; you need to be capable of going round trip 5 miles easily, carrying a pack of what you need for the day, including your headdress.  When we hike the PCT 4 miles, we’ll also be carrying up the ‘Trail Magic”.  I have hiked all the trails we will be going on, they are relatively easy but with some up-hill and down hill, and they are very well marked and well cared for being so close to the Pass.  I am not a wilderness guide, so we will all be responsible for our own needs.  Once you register, we’ll supply a list of what you will need for camping as well as the class.  But please don’t hesitate to send me messages with any questions!  The folks at the Frye’s Public Programs can answer registration questions, including how to get credit for this class from SPU.

With the camping, we will be at the group site of Denny Creek Campground, which has water, a pit toilet at our site, a regular bathroom a few minutes walk away, fire-pit and two grills, and even an electrical outlet.  It is drive-up! (no back-packing tents!) No showers, but I found a quick dip in the cold river a few minutes walk away to be quite refreshing! With this workshop potentially having up to 12 people, participants will need to be okay with sharing space, potentially sharing a tent with one other person, and carpooling. The site will not accommodate 12 cars.  We’ll also need to car-pool to the PCT trail head, 3 miles from the campsite.  All those details we will figure out as a group, but should not come as a surprise as you register.  Also all camping equipment, hiking equipment and food is supplied by you, but we will talk as a group about sharing things like cook-stoves and all that stuff, so if you need to share, we’ll make it happen through self-organizing with the other participants.    It will be a wonderful time!

Denny Creek peaking through the trees, a perfect place to jump in, in the morning!

Denny Creek peaking through the trees, a perfect place to jump in, in the morning!

Denny Creek through the trees

the trail

Denny Creek Campground

Denny Creek Campground

‘Les Pom Poms for Paris!’ Open Studio Sale Fundraiser and Pom-Pom making workshop!

April 12, SAT, 12-6pm
April 13, SUN, 2-6pm

At: The Silver Studio

5264 39th Ave. S. Seattle , Wa. 98118

Come in the Big Silver Doors! Please park across the street.


Join me in my studio for a sale of photographs and neck-pieces, tote bags and catalogs. And stay to make yourself a few pom-pom accessories using my stash of hundreds of skeins of yarn. For a $5, $10 or $20 donation (your choice), I will teach you to make a richly textured pom-pom wristlet or headband or neckpiece.

If you don’t want to make one, I can make you your own bespoke pom-pom!

Also there will be wine, tea and treats!

SM_green pom-pom wreath
I’m raising money to fund my recent project in Paris and a residency in Normandy. Wait…didn’t I already raise money for this? Yes! I spent this past winter teaching and fundraising, but about a week before we left my house and studio was broken into and robbed. Thankfully no one was hurt, and luckily we had insurance. But my car keys were stolen, among other things and the insurance refused to pay to have my car re-keyed. The cost was the same amount I had raised for the trip to Paris, $1200. This unexpected unfortunate event meant all my money was gone before I left, and with the $1000 deductible it has left me scrambling financially. So when times are hard, MAKE POM-POMS!

All of my works will be at studio prices, very affordable, with smaller framed works and older pieces an additional 50% off. I’ll also be having a 40% sale on all my prints available to order these two days from me in the studio and available to pick up in 2 weeks. I’ll also have some new larger unframed prints from Iceland, beautiful sewn paper photo collages and many fiber neck pieces.


If you can’t come and still want to donate to get a pom-pom, donate right here, and tell me what color pom-pom you want.

donate button

I can ship you pom-pom for an additional $5 or you can pick it up at my studio. Don’t need a pom-pom, or print, or tote or catalog and still want to help out? I’ve had several friends offer to help out but don’t want anything; You can use this donate button as well, but just message that you don’t want a pom-pom. I would be so grateful!

Get your own Pom-Pom wrist-let!  Make your own or have me make one!

Get your own Pom-Pom wrist-let! Make your own or have me make one!

 

I had an incredible time in Paris, and was able to share my installation and performance with an entirely new European audience, including a well-attended press preview and even the mayor! I also had the chance to create a new costume in Normandy and have several photo shoots and many films to work with these coming months, as I prepare to show them at The Hudson River Museum this summer. Any amount you can contribute will help me fund this work, and important exposure for it.

Our performance and installation at Le Beffroi in Montrouge, Paris

Our performance and installation at Le Beffroi in Montrouge, Paris


The 10 day residency in Normandy also provided the time for my husband, artist Paul Margolis, to begin a new crocheted suit, and continue working on his photo project “Invincibility/Invisibility Suit”, which has traveled to Iceland, Italy and now France. You’ll be supporting both our works! Prints of the Invincibility/Invisibility Suit will be available as well.

Come find a great piece of art and have some fun hanging out in the studio with me.

I accept cash and credit card (and a check if I know you!)

FBSM_pink crosspompom

pom-pom headband, Come make your own!

pom-pom headband, Come make your own!

pom-pom necklace, Come make your own!

pom-pom necklace, Come make your own!

STUDIO SALE Open House and Paris Fundraiser! 12/21-12/22

I have some really exciting news that has me scrambling in ‘make-it-work’ mode!  I have been invited to install my latest installation “Every Moment Lost is Lost Forever” in Paris, to recreate my installation/performance at the Le Beffroi Cultural Center, in February, 2014!  This installation premiered in October at Arte&Arte’s Eros exhibition, an international fiber installation exhibition held in the 17th century Villa Olmo on the banks of Lake Como, Italy.  I couldn’t be more thrilled to be working again with Arte&Arte, and sharing my work with yet another international audience.  But I have to come up with the funds to do this, including the dire need to raise funds for airfare and lodging for 3 performers(including myself)!  I also have on the farther horizon in March 2014, the cost of shipping my crates back to the US.  SO any help from those that support what I do is invaluable!

EML_ceiling_300So, Please join me at my studio this weekend to kick off the fundraising for an Open House and Studio Sale of more than a decade of artwork, priced at below studio prices (i.e. less than half of purchasing in a gallery)!

Come hang out and have treats, wine, hot tea and cozy candle light (it’s the Solstice, my favorite day!)

Time: 12/21 SAT from 12 – 6pm
          12/22 SUN from 1 -6pm

AND after that, BY APPOINTMENT until January 4th, 2014, prices stay low!
Just contact me to set up a meeting.

AT:  My studio, the Silver Studio in Columbia City, contact me for an appt.

I have more than 30 professionally framed artist proofs of my photographs for purchase, in a wide range of sizes and prices.
As well as all images are available to order in three different sizes, in limited editions of 25, at discounted pricing from my online print shop, if you order them in person.

greasey profile

Framed artist proof of this work with be available in a wood frame with black linen matte

I also have done a huge studio and deep-storage clean-out and have unearthed many many “vintage Mandy Greer” pieces available – works that are about 10 years old – at incredibly low prices. Fiber wall sculptures, sculptures, collages, drawings of larger works.

I’ll also have books, and large woven blankets, elaborate neck pieces, hand-knit elaborate and simple cowls, pom-pom necklaces and wrist-let accessories! Something for all….for gifts, for yourself.

..if you enjoy, love, respect what I do, please consider investing in it and living with it!

HOW ELSE CAN YOU HELP: Many friends have asked how they could help if they don’t want to buy something, if I was going to do a Kickstarter. I’m not this time, for a variety of reasons. If you want to donate to this Italian-Franco project of mine, I would be utterly grateful for any amount!

I’ll have a big donation jar at the Open House, and with any amount donated ($1 or $10 or $100), I’ll make you a pom-pom wristlet or necklace in your choice of color! Poms will be available at my studio in March, when I return.

pomgiveawayAnother way to help is to join, like and share this event on Facebook!  I’ll continue to post preview images on Facebook, so follow me if you’d like to keep up.

If you can’t attend but still want to donate any amount for a Pom-Pom accessory in the color of your choice, you can do that with this link! email me your color.donate button
THANK YOU SEATTLE for the support, and nurturing place to grow as an artist! I’ve been working hard here since 1999 (…unreal!) I am trying to share what I do with the rest of the world, show them what we do out here between the mountains and the sea! And I still need your help and support to make this happen!  Please join me for some warmth and beautiful things at my studio this weekend!

12.Stone_Mother_GREER

“Stitchery” at SAM Gallery extended till September 1st.

Stitchery PostcardCurrently showing, I have several photographs and a window installation of costumes up at the SAM Gallery as part of their ‘Stitchery’ show, a companion show to SAM’s “Future Beauty”exhibition .  Apparently ‘Stitchery’  has been so well received it has been extended until September 1st!  There is so much good stuff, delicious quilts by Joey Veltkamp, and some pretty spectacular graphic minimal but decedent knitted pieces by Paul Komada.  And everybody’s favorite, stitched silk yo-yos!  I’ve been stitching those up since I was a kid!

Anyhow, please stop by!  Several of my photographs from Iceland have rarely been seen in public, and I was thrilled to be able to share them!

18. torent_GREER12.Stone_Mother_GREER5MB-two face twin flamed hecate 5MB-deep fallen heart 3x4_golden templeI also have several of these photographs, as well as more from each series, currently available in 8 x 12  and 11 x 14 prints, as part of a fundraiser to raise the necessary funds I need to create and ship an installation to Como, Italy this fall.  Please check it out!

Here’s a peak at the window display of several years of my costumes.  The first shot is in my studio….best seen on site at SAM Gallery, I found a window display really difficult to document!

costumes in studio

studio shot before the ladies were installed…

 IMG_2311IMG_2310

orange cab

I call this one “Orange Cab” ….so hard to document windows!

Last day to see my work from Winter Iceland residency at LxWxH Gallery in Seattle

"Jokull Ormer Woman" 33.5” x 25”, archival ink jet photography on archival 100% rag watercolor paper, signed edition of 8, 2013, $1100

“Jokull Ormer Woman”
33.5” x 25”, archival ink jet photography on archival 100% rag watercolor paper, signed edition of 8, 2013

Today , June 29th, from 12-3pm is the last day to see “The Obsessive Unknown Origins of Grotesque Irregularity”, at LxWxH Gallery, which includes an installation of work I did during my second residency in Iceland this past January/February, supported by the 2012 Arts Innovator Award from Artists Trust/The Dale and Leslie Chihuly Foundation.  You can read a little bit more about it over at my Solstenen Project blog, but go see the show if your are in Seattle today.

My NEPO House show images, Dec. 2012, Seattle

18. torent_GREER 3. NEPO_glacier_GREER_2
Little jökull, woven fabric and crocheted yarn and fabric, stones, 2012-13

“Our Patient Day’s Allotted Span” show at NEPO House, which  was such a gratifying experience to bring some of the work began in Iceland to closure, to see friends, share my family’s work and share in the hospitality of NEPO House’s Little Treats series.  Paul loved standing on the porch serving Icelandic waffles and glogg and egg nog to everyone who arrived.

12.Stone_Mother_GREER

No one asked me about the odd title…maybe my odd titles are just par for the course now.  It’s something from the very beginning of the beginning.  As I was writing the first grant proposal for this project in early 2011, trying to coax something concise from the jumble of ideas, I was reading my son my favorite book from my childhood, The Fairy Caravan by Beatrix Potter.

13. grey-rust vanitas_GREER

And this one scene struck me in the gullet, a powerful monolog spoken by a Herdwick ewe named Belle Lingcropper, about the strength and tenacity of the sheep, as well as the transitory nature of our time here.  She says

” What though the hailstorms sweep the fell in winter–through tempest, frost, or heat–we live our patient day’s allotted span.”

14. cave_father_pattern_GREER
Cave Father, archival ink jet photograph

Both the wisp of legacy and transience, from the mouth of sheep (but of course Miss Potter really).  For  awhile I have been fixated and inspired how Beatrix Potter managed to craft a life for herself as a woman writer of her time, as well a attain a certain independence and ultimately to use her own earned money to become a major conservationist of land, of a way of life, and the Herdwick sheep breed.  She used her patient day’s allotted span well, and I aim to do the same, somehow.

11.Little_glacier_GREER

Anyhow, aside from my admiration for her ability to  make a living as an artist, jumping over hurdles, I’m sure, I have never had to deal with — her ewe’s speech seemed to draw me to a place in my mind, not Britian, but to a fantasy of Iceland where things would play out, questions would be met with answers on the wind and stone, if only for a brief time.

See a full selection of images here

19snow_sleep_GREER

But that brief time was wedged in the legacy of the maker, the creator, the individual who has crafted their life’s work from the the air, the land, the water and all that comes with it.  My collaborators –my son, my husband — we went on that part of our journey together, a different but interrelated meaning for all of us.  Something lasting for all of us, but the geologic text written on the small island of Iceland loomed in my mind as a different time table than our own brief human span.

23. Paul_wallpaper_GREER

And Potter’s imagining of the mind of her dear Herdwicks seemed to speak of a pride of one’s place in a long span of time, not just what we experience.  I thought the working title would shed itself — and for a while I didn’t think of it all — but once this grouping of work was done, it still seemed to work.

You can also see some of my films from the project here: Films!

25. pink_wire_wallpaper_GREER

Here’s the entirety of little Belle the ewe’s speech.  I was startled by the tenderness I felt for the Icelandic sheep we would encounter, their soft eyes and the intense soft warmness they seemed to radiate in the harsh rocky landscape.  I always imagined them saying this…

Cool is the air above the craggy summit. Clear is the water of the mountain keld. Green grows the grass in droughty days beneath the brackens! What though the hailstorms sweep the fell in winter–through tempest, frost, or heat–we live our patient day’s allotted span.

Wild and free as when the stone-men told our puzzled early numbers; untamed as when the Norsemen named our grassings in their stride. Our little feet had ridged the slopes before the passing Romans. On through the fleeting centuries, when fresh blood came from Iceland, Spain, or Scotland–stubborn, unchanged, UNBEATEN–we have held the stony waste.

15blueberryskull_wallpaper
Icelandic blueberry, mushroom, bones wallpaper

My Solstenen films screened at “Latent Liminal Improbable Exuberance” : Film night at Rendezvous Jewelbox Theater in Seattle

This past fall I did a series of residencies in Iceland over the course of 5 weeks, as part of my on-going Solstenen Project.  I’ve been blogging about it here, and will continue to do so as I return to Iceland in two weeks for another month or work, research and journey.  But I have completed some work from Iceland, films, sculpture and photographs, first a showing at NEPO House in December, and now a presentation of films I began in Iceland.

breathing stone woman_edited-1

I’m so giddy to be showing some of my new Solstenen Project films with some of my favorite Seattle-based artsts/filmmakers during an evening presentation at Seattle’s gorgeous Jewelbox Theater!

“Latent Liminal Improbable Exuberance : Film night with,
Gala Bent, Jennifer Zwick, Britta Johnson, Mandy Greer, Scott Kolbo and Vis-a-Vis Society at Rendezvous Jewelbox Theater,  January 9th, 2013,    7-10 pm

Something old, something new, something odd, something blue.
In-process, foundlings, archived, favorites and brand new films by an exuberant collection of artists:

Gala Bent
Jennifer Zwick
Britta Johnson
Mandy Greer
Scott Kolbo and
Vis-a-Vis Society.

Films will begin at 7pm and cycle throughout the evening until 10pm.

Drop in when you can. Delicious treats by the Rendezvous kitchen!  FREE

Film still from "My farm and Yours", Mandy Greer 2013
Film still from “My farm and Yours”, Mandy Greer 2013
2322 2nd Ave., Seattle, Washington 98121

‘Solstenen Project’ residencies were sponsored in part by grants from 4 Culture, Artist Trust and the Seattle Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs.

smaller-oaca-logo_colorArtisttrustlogo4culture-logo

Film still from Scott Kolbo
Film still from Scott Kolbo
Film still from "I shall loan you these rags", Mandy Greer 2013
Film still from “I shall loan you these rags”, Mandy Greer 2013
Film still from "Nothing to give", Mandy Greer, 2013
Film still from “Nothing to give”, Mandy Greer, 2013
Film still from "Birch Play", Mandy Greer, 2013
Film still from “Birch Play”, Mandy Greer, 2013

Cowl Making Workshops in Seattle, 11/3, 11/4

See new WORKSHOP tab!

I had such a great response to my recycled fiber giant Cowl Making Workshops at last January’s ON/OFF festival – with them selling out in a few hours — I’ve decided to offer them again in Seattle at The Silver Studio (my studio), in Columbia City.  And it’s finally cold enough to wear them!  I’ll have tea and some brunch-like snacks, you are welcome to bring something to share.  Read below the Registration to find out more about the workshops!

FOR COMPLETE BEGINNERS, really!

DATES/TIMES

- Nov. 3, SAT, 2 – 5:30 pm (2 SPACES LEFT)

- Nov. 4th, SUN, 12 – 3:30pm  (SOLD OUT)

COST: $20 per person, ONLY 11 SPACES PER CLASS

MORE CLASSES TO COME LATE NOV / EARLY DEC

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TO REGISTER:

-Choose below the day you want and click the corresponding PayPal button

-Be sure to include your contact email address and name in the “note to merchant” box if different than the email you use for Paypal, so I can send you class confirmation, material list, where to buy them, and the studio address.  If you don’t see the box, send me an email with it.

- If the class you want fills up, please email me your desired day and I will put you on the waiting list and/or notify when I hold another series of workshops.

- 48 hours before your class, workshop fee is non-refundable, but can be transferred to another person.

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NOV. 3, SAT, 2 – 5:30 pm

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NOV. 4, SUN, 12 – 3:30pm   (SOLD OUT)

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The Cowl Making workshop comes out of a a project called “Gleaning, Redeeming, Surviving and Thriving”, where I’ll be facilitating for workshop participants the process of taking discarded cheap materials, investing them with one’s time and creating an amazing wearable piece.

We’ll be investigating slow process, re-thinking use, and re-examining self-esteem via self-sufficiency rather than purchasing power.

You’ll be gathering your own materials, engaging with a site of contemporary gleaning: the bins at the Goodwill Outlet.“  The Bins” are an overwhelming striking visual scene of our contemporary way of life of intense consumption, of using goods for a very short time, discarding them before they are worn out, and the massive amount of energy spent on just what to do with this constant flow of fabric.

Our cultural critics today tell us we have moved from being people who can produce to people who only consume.  During the course of this project, step back and examine this, examine the art of ‘gleaning’ and slowly making something from the leftovers of our over-buying and over-production. Participants are asked to spend an afternoon at “The Bins” before attending the workshop, picking through the mountains of discarded fabrics, choosing about 5-8 garments made of  ‘t-shirt’ knit material.

Using handmade looms that are adaptations of a childhood craft called spool knitting — rake looms from Germany date back to 1535 –  I’ll be leading participants through the gleaning process to creating ‘yarn’ to creating a dramatic handmade wearable work,  a giant cowl scarf.

This workshop is an homage to the anonymous gleaners and artisans who continually make amazing things from the discards of our throw-away culture.

Despite the transition away from the slow process of harvesting, hand spinning, hand weaving and hand-sewing of cottage industry textile making to the mass produced textiles that so marked the age of the Industrial Revolution, a long-surviving culture of inventive hand-making of usable goods continued, particularly among the textile workers of these massive mechanized factories.   To survive, to cloth their own family, warm their own floors, to have pride in their own resourceful creativity, these workers gleaned the wool scraps and selvedge edges, the cigar wrappers, the broken buttons, the extra thread, the used burlap bags, to create remarkable works of art.

Some Happy Campers!

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