Aug 12, 2017

THE ESSENCE OF ROUND

Another full moon has passed, a spectacular solar eclipse looms, and I am noticing a pattern of circles popping up in my photos. Because I live too far south to witness this coming cosmic event, I decided to share my personal circular activity here on this blog. May we all celebrate the energy of circle, the essence of round. Dark and light, intense and subtle, large and small, this energy is about all of us. It IS all of us. 

The full moon, the sun, planet Earth and all the planets in the cosmos, all are circles. Even our eyes with which we view them are circles. In exploring the concept of circle, I find it represents unity, wholeness and life cycles. Without beginning or end, it represents inclusivity and its affiliate number is one. We can imagine that when we sit within a circle, we are all equal, one and the same. Being inside the circle, we also feel the safety and protection from anything outside that zone. When someone says they're in or out of their 'comfort zone' I picture that as a circle. 


"Dark Moon Angel"
recycled from a gift of Sees Chocolates

  Here are some huipiles from the 365 4 2015 series, in which I made one small huipil every day in the year 2015.  Looking back at them now from a different viewpoint, I wonder what led me to create so many circular forms. 

"Teach Tolerance"
The circular motion of joining hands says inclusivity. It's going to take
all of us working together to bring balance to our Mother planet.

"Letter to the U.S."
It's Not a Crime to be Black. Living while black, driving
while black, walking while black, it's all is part of the system
that spawned yesterdays tragic events in Charlottesville.  
"Spot On"
Occasionally a day goes just right, you come up with a
solution that works, and the term for that sums it up in these circles.
"Shiva the Destroyer"
Crushing the demon of ignorance, Shiva's dance recalls
the cycles of birth, death and rebirth. All is circular. 
"Connect the Dots"
This one is like "follow the money" when we're trying to
understand how the world works. It's not in "mysterious ways." 
"Que Milagro!"
We all wish for miracles, and maybe they do happen, but
I'm not convinced. What do you think?

To continue further, the following examples show up in my huipils, as
faces, bottle cap textiles and neck openings. 

"Thirst /Sed" (detail)  bottle caps and wire, 2014
We're all longing for something to quench our thirst or hunger.
What is it you thirst for and how do you go about finding it?
Chicomecoatl, Corn Mother, corn husks, iron,
mazorcas.
Ceremonia de Té, tea packets and bags, 2016

Circles and round things show up in my photographs of places and things:
Hats on a wall at Sergio Castro's Museo create a wall of circles.
Page from a book about Bolom Chon, by
Taller Leñateros, describes the spots on a jaguar.
Circles and stars or butterflies adorn the front door of
the church in Chamula, Chiapas.
Cans of spray paint on the sidewalk during Festival de
Arte Urbano,with Muros en Blanco.

Life Cycle of Corn shrine, por Maria Godoy,
Milpa: Pueblos de Maíz, Museo de los Artes Populares 


“Life is a full circle, widening until it joins the circle motions of the infinite.”  ― Anaïs Nin

Apr 6, 2017

MADRE MAIZ Y SU MILPA


The fields of the milpa lay fallow, scattered with dried cobs, colorless husks and rotting stalks that weren’t gathered after the last season. Soon, the farmer will bundle them all together and light a fire, burning them and the fields themselves and all else that has found its way there. She watches then, Corn Mother does, because she knows the time of her rebirth is near. A long wooden stick will poke holes in her earthen skin, her children from the last season will be dropped in, and she will wait. 

She will wait in the black soil, for the sun, for the water, for the fresh warm air, before she emerges again. She will emerge from her own earthen skin, giving birth again and again, in tiny green shoots that recall the ancestors, and their ancestors before them.


Blessing Ceremony by Maruch Mendez, inaugurating "Cuentos Cosidos"

 Her people glorify her in ceremony, singing their praise and asking her blessing, burning copal as they go. In return, Corn Mother blesses her people with bountiful crops, if there is sufficient rain, but not more than is needed. If there is sunshine, but not more than is needed. If her people are there to care for her, once again, as they have since the beginning.


With a huge amount of gratitude to Taller Leñateros for Corn Mother's 
face, from the cover of their book "Conjuros y Ebriedades; 
Cantos de Mujeres Mayas." Que un gran honor!!


Mar 5, 2017

CUENTOS COSIDOS

The climate of hate growing in the U.S. seems to have its exact opposite here in San Cristobal de las Casas. Walking the streets, whether in centro or in the neighborhoods, most people greet and are greeted with a smile, if not a buenos dias, tardes or noches. This is not because they feel the need to be friendly, it's just the tradition they're used to, much the same as in San Miguel or any other city in Mexico. 

I arrived here a couple of weeks ago to install my latest huipil exhibition, CUENTOS COSIDOS. For non-Spanish speakers, it roughly translates to Stitched Tales. Most every piece in the exhibition has a tale to tell, a story to share. I share them gladly and hopefully with the people here, extending a hand of peace, tolerance and justice. I feel it's one small thing I can do as an "white-faced gringa from el norte." In reality, it's the same work I've been doing since the huipil series began in 2003. The works in CUENTOS COSIDOS span the years 2008 - 2017. 
El Tendedero, the clothesline works from 2009, still here to
represent women whose voices and/or lives were negated. 

There isn't a single piece that addresses "grab 'em by the pussy" or "they're not sending their best".... just two of the infamous phrases that represent the new Hater in Chief. And I say the rather than our, because he does not represent me. Actually, we all know that it isn't only this new regime at fault. The U.S. has consistently created, fed and supported dictators privately, while condemning them publicly. But until now, never within our own country. 

So, this self-proclaimed art ambassador, (me) spreader of truth and beauty, with magic sprinkles in my pocket and a smile on my face, is here to gather tales, stitch them again and again, weave them together with the threads of color, joy and tolerance and love. 

Installation detail of Detrás de la Etiqueta
Detrás de la Etiqueta / Behind the Label, 2013


Jan 23, 2017

TRANSFORMING THE HAIKU

Haiku came into my life so unexpectedly, so instantaneously, and I have no way to understand or explain.  Towards the end of December, I remembered a box of Haiku magnets that I had bought, so I pulled out some strips and placed them on the front of the guest refrigerator. Thinking that there are so many writers and poets that stay at Casa Lenita, I felt I was doing it for them, giving them one more little morsel of playtime while they're making coffee or preparing food in the terrace kitchen.



Guest Haiku / play time!














Then one day, I noticed I too, was writing some every day. I began to think of the 365 small huipils from 2015, that might like some new attention.  As I  sifted through the tiny artworks, they seemed to guide me towards commentary. Not necessarily the usual Haiku content, which historically relates to seasons, nature, temperatures, etc.  According to The Haiku Foundation, it can also describe things and events which produce certain feelings in us. All are 3 lines, which is the rule of Haiku, and even though not all of them follow the rule of 17 (syllables), it seems an auspicious number as I dive into this project. 

In truth, 2017 began with such explosive, politically charged issues, that I needed for a place to put these emotions that ranged from deep sadness to outrage to helplessness and back and forth between acceptance and just trying to find my own center. This week of inauguration and the Women's March has been exceptionally challenging; I've fallen behind and am earnestly trying to regain my daily routine of writing. 


Huipil Haiku from 36542015



on feeling lost:


trail twists upward now 

hit my heart sideways
watch for the signs



Huipil Haiku from 36542015

on boasting:


from out of your mouth
polluted rivers spill mayhem
small birds resist bites  





Huipil Haiku from 36542015



on divisiveness: 


the split is real
inner and outer
may we find our center




Huipil Haiku from 36542015




on the inauguration:

other revolutions
tell us change is possible
coffee for everyone




What I'm noticing is a subtle yet circular connection between the works I made 2 years ago, and the events / emotions / experiences of right now. As is stated in The Haiku Foundation, "a haiku gives the reader a sense of something happening at a specific moment in time."  We shall see if this synchronicity continues to occur as I follow this path.