I am over-the-moon excited about this upcoming show. It would mean the world to me if you would join me in celebrating this new work by attending the opening in Oakland this Friday night. And if you can't attend the opening (because, you know, you live in Australia, England, North Carolina, New York, or Texas) then I hope you'll join me virtually by "attending" the opening here in this online space. Be my guest.
My solo exhibition, Still Time for Us Together in the Woods, opens at Halmoni Vintage boutique this Friday from 6:30-9. I am beyond excited about this work. Based on my graduate school poetry manuscript, Relationship to Trees, the images are meant to further the conversation I started in that very tender and very tumultuous and very complicated collection of writing. This work feels brave. And that braveness makes me quiver. It feels tender. And that tenderness makes me worry. It feels stark. It feels oddly strange. But mostly, it feels like a celebration of all that was, and all that will never be, and how all those parts muddled together to make something new. You know what I mean? A reckoning of sorts, I think. A reconciliation.
The work examines lineage, family, wilderness, wildness, intimacy, and ultimately hybrids or what poet Bhanu Kapil calls the "humanimal". It holds a lens up to relationships and gives the woodland creatures of my native Upstate New York the gestures, physicality, clothing, and bodies of humans I found in vintage photographs from flea markets and from my own family's stash. (Don't worry, Mom, I kept all the originals intact.) It extracts the creatures from their backgrounds and habitats and lets them float in a space of white punctuated only with thread, fabric, and other ornamentation. My hope is that it allows us to enter a fictional space where we can imagine something new.
I spent many hours in the Oakland Public Library researching and photocopying children's books and field guides brimming with photographs of woodland creatures. I cut up tiny pieces of coveted Liberty London fabric and added applique and embroidery to my humanimal friends. And I thought about love, loss, longing, and all the inexplicable feelings of being human. I thought about how hard we try to understand each other and that, ultimately, even with our best effort we often fail. And I wondered how best to put all these parts into images. And, well, the results will be framed and hung for all to see on Friday night. And all 10 originals will be for sale.
Gasp! Did I mention that I'm nervous? And excited too.
UPDATE: The original opening for this show was cancelled due to a flood at Halmoni Vintage that closed their space for several weeks. The show is now scheduled to open from 6-9pm Friday, May 2, 2014 at Rise Above Print Shop and Gallery at 4770 Telegraph Avenue, Oakland, CA. There will be a live performance from 6:30-8:30 during the opening reception, the exhibition will be on view from May 2- May 31, 2014. For more info, please visit my website. Thank you.