Tuesday, December 21, 2010

A winter solstice snow labyrinth

During the last snow Deirdre nĂ­ Dhubhghaill @2DGraphicDesign asked me was I going to make a snow labyrinth. It just did n't seem like something I wanted to do.
We have had 28cm - 44cm of snow depending on where you stand in the garden since 7.45am GMT. Before the sunset I was out with my youngest too trampling around the garden. The snow is powdery and fine. After the children went in I pottered around. At the front right of the house there is a space which was un touch and it seemed perfect to walk a winter solstice labyrinth and I did.
Solstice Snow Labyrinth Wexford 2010
My digital camera has finally died so I'm back to the camera phone so photos are not great but it will give you an idea of what it looks like.
 There is more snow forecasted. Tomorrow I will build the walls higher and place little tea light candles along the path.
Although it would be lovely to go out and walk it later lighting it with candles. Saying good bye to the dark days and linking this year with next year on the 21st December 2010...
I will be posting more pictures on Facebook later so keep an eye there.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Why the 13th of December is an important date for me

I was about to post a link on to Facebook about why today holds significance for me but felt it deserved a blog post. More personal then normal, then again my artwork is personal...
Today is my maternal grandmothers birthday, she died the summer before last . My Grannie Egan would have been 94 today, I miss her energy on the earth.
As an artist I paint those feeling or find ways to express, treasure and hold memories for myself and others. It gives meaning to experiences and helps me process my world. Others find solace in that also either through my work or through the work I do with them.
My grandmother grew very frail as she moved into her nineties, she became lighter on the earth and I knew her energy was lifting from it. I could not keep her here and she did not want to stay.
I painted this little piece to represent the fact that I knew she would be missing from the earth soon. I blocked out two 'doorways' with masking tape, wrote in the background and painted my hearts piece.
After the painting was dry I lifted the masking tape off revealing two white unpainted paces.
The second door was painted for my father who was very sick at the time but thankfully has now recovered.
I've used the image of the painting twice;
1. as an illustration for a blog post on Finding success through failure over on my business blog CreativeDynamix. Where I combined reversed text over the painting.
2. using the illustration I combined it with a map of Venice, text and typography printed it on to cotton and beaded it as part of my Of earth and soul exhibition at the Wexford Fringe 2010. Where it got a lot of attention and was sold. The text that was used with the typography to make a visually playful emphasis was a quote
"Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around."
Leo Buscaglia

...and you see thats is what happens. Life goes on - work and thoughts, pictures, images, crockery and wool merge and mold beyond grief and loss in to images and remembrance and holding the essence of those memories.
Today I remember my Grandmother with fondness.
I continue to hold her memories and treasure them and craft images to tell her story, our story. I weave the contents of our story in and out of my ideas around the Legacy Series that slowly takes shape into a future exhibition. Even now she inspires me to live my life to express myself and I find touchstones which inspire me in the everyday things that have found there way into my home and my studio since she died. They are not heirlooms or priceless things of great inheritance but fragments of a life lived, of a woman called Olive Egan she lives on in the memory of those who loved her.

My studio like my memory holds fragments of my grandmother; bags of wool, orange knitting pins boxes for knitting needles, knitting patterns and crochet instructions, bought or kept from magazines. The oldest one from 1940 others from 1950's right through to the mid 1980's.
Womans Weekly January 1954
I've been spending some time stripping out my studio and this morning I stopped to look through a large black refuse sack full of wool and patterns. It seemed apt.

Friday, December 10, 2010

#GGPP and Labyrinths connect

If you've been following me on social media or reading my blogs you will know that Julie Ann Turner and I have a Global Gratitude Postcard Project #GGPP over on http://consciousshift.posterous.com/ and out there in the real world. People have been making postcards with intent and sending them in love and gratitude.
Julie Ann is an amazing woman and you can read more about her creative arc's and how she works on her website http://www.creatorsguide.com/. She also has a weekly radio program where she did interview me for the #GGPP project and yes if you have n't listened to the audio it gives you a good insight into the intentions behind the project and how Julie Ann and I got connected via Twitter. The itunes listing for ConciousShift Radio can be found here and there are fanstastic interviews that I have really enjoyed listening to.
My great discovery yesterday - and thank you Julie Ann - was SARK, Susan Ariel Rainbow Kennedy. Listen to the interview it is wonderful. I went to SARKs site and was really enjoying having a look around. SARK has just published an new book and she is standing in the middle of a fabulous labyrinth right beside the sea, go look http://www.sarkjournal.com/.
So I asked her where it was and Julie Ann, Lands End in San Francisco I found out. Yeah.
For gorgeous photos look here at this photographers website.

I have a brother in SF a visit has been on the cards for a few years.
Would n't one of these look great on Cahore Point...

So you see work is all connected in the end #GGPP connects to my obsessive labyrinth behavior and land art projects this year. I look forward to making more labyrinths in 2011. I'd like to make them with groups and some as permanent structures too.
Do you know of other labyrinths around the world I could visit? or where would be a good spot to build one.
July, August and October I blogged about labyrinths if your new to my blog do go and have a look. Or start with this beach labyrinth project which also has links to further information and local places to find labyrinths.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

#twitterartexhibit Moss Library, Norway

I think it all started with a tweet that I saw from David Sandum. 140 characters and that was it. Around the 21st of October you can read all about it here http://davidsandumart.posterous.com/call-for-artists-twitter-art-exhibit-in-moss.
For my part I had chatted via twitter with David once or twice, I liked his work and what i knew of him i liked and respected. So if he was going to organise a fundraiser to raise money for a local library in Norway by inviting artist all over the twitter-sphere to join in, well it would have been rude not to.
Postcards size was what he wanted and I do love postcards.
I was in but getting down to the brass tax of making the miniature work was more challenging. What to send? What to make that represented how I work and supported what David was trying to do.
I had just finished my successful Of earth and soul, exhibition and workshop sessions at the Wexford Fringe. I was on the creative curve that requires rest and re-cumulation of creative energy before another up cycle. So I was tired and trying to work less, walk more and play a little.
Eventually I started with a montage a map, an old girls magazine and a letter. I like the idea of the text "I told you I could do it!" as a central focus.
Montages are funny things sometimes they just need a muted layer of tracing paper and some script over them and they are perfect but this demanded that I painted with intent and send a representational piece of my style of work. So painting began and after that some stitching. The roads were re-highlighted to continue on and add definition with some beads.
 My seven year old had great fun doodling on the news paper as I was stitching. If you look at the Of earth and soul exhibition you will find the painting Trust has a link to this piece.
The work was sent off to David in Norway as soon as it was dry. He noted that it arrived on November 7th.
Now it sits on a wall in a Norwegian Library. My postcard is easily spotted second from the top technology is amazing.
This is an image shared from the Moss Library Flickr images of the exhibit.
On twitter the chat continues about the exhibit @DavidSandumArt: The coolest thing about #twitterartexhibit are the computers next to wall. People go online/twitter and look up their favorite artists.
So congratulations to David for doing such a great job and being so inspiring.
Twenty countries X 260 artists joined through twitter to raise funds for children's books in Moss, Norway. I love this story of the power of twitter, social media, one mans idea and the courage of his convictions to just 'Do it'. I love it has raised his profile as an artist, activist, solver, fund raiser and man about art. I love that Moss Library will have a fund for children's books. I love the fact that 260 artists participated with a postcard. All he asked was would we join in and we responded. 
Well Done David!

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