My time at Leland is wrapping up. I am both sad that my residency is ending and happy to be getting my weekends back. I miss my family. It’s been challenging being there three days a week and home/work 4 days. My husband and daughter have been having great father daughter weekends, I think it’s been good for them, but I sure miss them.
I made several drawings, large and small. Most are simple marks on paper. I see them as conversations with myself — I was channeling a bit of Bill Evans there.
I really got into whittling, it was cathartic. Most of my work involved a great deal of busy work — the kind of work you need when your mind is racing. I felt like I was figuring out a puzzle in my head the whole time, so keeping my hands busy helped. I read books, listened to music — I especially loved listening to all of the Teenage Fanclub albums back to back. I loved sleeping on my camping mattress. It was cold but I snuggled up under many layers.
I drank gallons and gallons of tea. I ate canned soup and cheese sandwiches. That was pretty much my whole diet. I had decided to go alcohol and coffee free for the month of October. I’m not totally sure it was a smart move on my part to have so much time alone with my own head and no alcohol to relax with, but I made it. It was hard. It was really hard. But I think if I had allowed myself some beers at night to unwind, I wouldn’t have worked so hard. I’m not even sure any of the work I did will ever see the light of day, but it still felt like I should be doing it, so I just kept at it.
All of the Residents of Leland Ironworks are having a group show in the Dorothy Lemelson Innovation Studio at PNCA for the month of November, 2015. The show opens First Thursday 6-8PM. Here are my statements about the residency and about the piece I’m making for the show:
My residency at Leland Ironworks was during the month of October and seasonal change was in the air. During this time of year there is an abundance of spider webs and falling leaves. When the falling leaves get caught on the webs, they seem to be suspended in time while at the same time, animated by the wind in a very magical way. I used invisible string to make my own leaves caught in mock spider webs and shot short videos of the leaves dancing in the wind. This was the inspiration for my hanging installation “I Miss You Most of All, My Darling, When Autumn Leaves Start to Fall.”
My Experiences at Leland
Play is where new discoveries happen and it’s a vital part of my practice. Having several full days a week in the studio at Leland has given me an opportunity to experiment in multiple mediums at once. I arrived there with no preconceived ideas about what I wanted to create, I just wanted time to play. I would walk around and look for things to do. I whittled in the treehouse, I made short videos of moving water, or spiders in their webs. I looked for patterns in things; I made drawings inspired by the bug trails made from them eating leaves or rotting branches. Having studio time to just explore and let things happen as they will is something I haven’t had the luxury to do during Grad school. I see my time as a “restart button” to my home studio practice.