I’m raising funds to make possible a project – a research residency and interactive environmental installation — that I have been invited to do at Dai Bosatsu Zendo, a Rinzai Zen Buddhist Monastery community on an isolated 1400 acres, high in the Catskill Mountains Forest Preserve in NY.
This very unique experience offered to me and my work came about because Dai Bosatsu Zendo community members experienced my work at my solo show at The Hudson River Museum last year in Yonkers, NY, and felt like the land they inhabit has something to offer me as a place to explore and interpret through my work. They have invited me to spend two weeks in August at the Monastery engaging with the natural world and their community through personal artistic research and through creating a fiber-based environmental installation in the land, in collaboration with my partner artist Paul Margolis and our son.
In several of the aged maple, birch and oak trees we’ll be creating a lacy cavern of grays and silvers – inspired by a memory of a tiny dome-shaped cave called Sönghellir we visited while on residency in Iceland with our family–made of shredded old clothes and wool yarn acquired from small, ethical sheep farms both in Washington and the Catskills region of NY.
The installation will also function as an interactive site for repose and handwork activities I’ll guide, providing a welcoming threshold for visitors for DBZ Family Weekend and the wider Catskills Mountain community on DBZ’s Open House on August 21-23.
Your support for this residency will also fund a much larger project, as this installation called ‘Woolgathering’ will become part of a large-form immersive exhibition premiering in 2016, of installations and performances that ask questions about the human need to make ‘home’, not just as shelter from the elements, but more specifically as ‘sanctuary’ or ‘refuge’.
The ‘Woolgathering” project will also be happening at Seattle Art Museum’s Sculpture Park on July 18th as part of their Eco Day activities, so Seattle-area people can also join in the making of the lacy cavern!
Incentives to donate!
I’m offering many perks for those who care to donate: workshops, cards, books, but I am most excited about making you something.
To fund this project I want to engage with you on a very personal intimate level, to create for you a one of a kind artwork rendered in fabric. Unlike other crowdsource funding campaigns, I want to avoid offering cheaply-made trinkets as incentives. It really is counter to what I do, to create such waste.
My larger project –that this residency supports –is about investigating how we make ‘home’, and one aspect that fascinates me is how the bed becomes the access to our dreamworld subconscious. So to support this residency, I offer sewn artworks that are actually quilted pillows that you use as prompts to explore your own dreamworld. We’ll begin with a questionnaire that prompts you to express thoughts and imagery. I use this to interpret and reflect back to you a quilted design created out of fabrics I’ve collected on my travels, old clothes and meaningful textiles. Think of it almost like a tarot reading in fabric, not as divination, but a mirror to reflect your attention when you place your head upon it to sleep. What I’ll make for you is unknown, what you’ll dream is too. But through this shared process, we can approach sleep as a time of discovery.
You are needed and valued!
Without your investment in my work, this continuing project and research time, I won’t be able to make it happen. With even a small donation, and even just spreading the word, you become a benefactor who boosts the development my work further, and allows me to create an artwork in this incredibly unique setting!
Dai Bosatsu Zendo has opened their heart to me, and my small collective of artists. They’ll be providing us with a room in the monastery, then a small meditation cabin. They’ll be sharing their food with us and supporting our explorations of the land. I’m so honored to be asked to do this work, and humbled by the support from those who are inspired by my work.
Being offered this gift of time and space in forest and in community from Dai Bosatsu Zendo is so inspiring. I am open to the unknown of who I’ll connect with through this project, what I’ll learn, who I can communicate with, with the gifts that I have in my hands. It’s what I have to offer the world.
DBZ has also embraced my process of working in a collective with my family members. As a working mother/artist this is still a very rare and valuable opportunity to do an artist residency that embraces the blending of parenthood and art making. My 2016 exhibition will be fed by the accumulation of work I’ve done through a series of residencies with my artist partner Paul Margolis and our son the last 3 years, creating films, photography, environmental interventions and costumes in remote landscapes. We’ll continue this exploration together at DBZ.
Through this process, my work for the past several years has explored the similarity of the siren call of wildness to the potential to lose oneself in motherhood, the tension to retain a separate identity while grappling with the seductive pulse of biology. These sojourns in the wilderness act as points of departure to unravel these complex tensions, the dilemma between the lived experience and cultural projections of family.