Sunday, March 16, 2014

Kissing and matters of sex

I think that these videos are connected to human beauty. But they have aspects of sexuality which some find ugly, or inappropriate.

So you know their about sex so if you're offended don't watch.

Clifford Owens and Kara Walker's first live performance

Zina Saro-Wiwa, Eaten by the Heart, How do Africans Kiss?

Taras Polataiko, Real Life Sleeping Beauty

Directed by Tango & Hawaii, Kissing Interactive Exhibit

Just a few. I found them interesting, especially the Clifford Owens performance and How do Africans Kiss.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

22 days

Menstrual Man, a documentary.
This guy is amazing, sacrificing everything, his reputation, his family, pretty much his life to help women in India.

It's 3.99 to watch but it's good. Or you can read about it here:

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Grad school I love you, but you're bringing me down.

Just finishing up the work I can finish up. The uteri/uteruses (someone looked it up, they're both right!) are going to be an ongoing project.
I liked the ideas brought up in my crit about adding wood to the drawers for the pads. I think having an insert at the top that fits flush with the area at the top, covering the Made in America stamp, would be nice. One of the reasons the drawers were so important to the piece comes from Peter Pan. Yes, i'm a Peter Pan fanatic. In the written book version, the mother comes into the nursery at night when the children are sleeping and tidies their minds. It's described as her opening drawers and getting rid of all the extra stuff, and checking on what they are thinking about. This is how she first discovers the name Peter. This picture was always very attractive to me.

Here are some things i'm looking at:

Liza Lou

Feminist books

Jane Perkins

The Tattoo page is amazing.

John Crawford

Flavorwire, Women Artists you should know

Katharina Ludwig

Grad School I Love you, But you're bringing me down

Grandma's Bead Stories

Dian Pelangi

Monday, February 24, 2014

Who you gonna call?

Watching Ghostbusters tonight.

Finally finished one of my pieces! To be honest, I haven't thought about anything but the making these past couple of weeks. Here is the writing that i've been doing. It documents the making!

For crit i'd like to talk about the displays i've worked up, and about the quilt.

Beaded pad:
·      It’s less embarrassing buying the pads for the art product then to use for my period. Except I use them for both when I use the wrappers. It’s dumb because the store person doesn’t know the difference anyway.
·      I back them with interfacing so that the needle has something to go through and so that there is a stronger base. If there is no interfacing on the bottom, the sticky parts stick to the needle and the thread pulls through and rips the pad.
·      Choosing colours from memories I associate with different years of my life, or stories of those years for the ones I was too young to remember.
·      Use those colours to choose larger beads to accent the colours. Choosing colours and accent beads takes 5-10 minutes
·      Start from the middle out, from the focal point to the outsides. This sets the pattern from the beginning, and creates an even tension from the middle out so that there are no folds in the cotton.
·      My finger pads get cracked from the cold and the work. I hate thimbles because they are unweildly and annoying, so sometimes I tape my fingers or wear band-aids to prevent stabbing my fingers. Mostly they are calloused enough to protect from getting stabbed.
·      1/24
o   9:30p.m-12:30 a.m, 3.75 hours
o   Watching 30 Rock, Bobs Burgers, Xena Warrior Princess
·      Worked with band-aids today because my fingers are torn up from working with metal.  They keep fraying and getting caught on everything. The needle gets stuck in the pad part and disrupts the flow of the work.
·      1/25
o   8:00p.m.-1:00a.m.,  5 hours
o   watching Last Vegas
o   Eating Mollasas cookies, drinking Limoncillo and La Croix
·      No band-aids today but have to use the pliers to pull needles through pads.
·      Finishing the middle is always rewarding/relieving because it’s a contained area, one unit. The patterns in the middle repeat from pad to pad, three designs in all. It becomes very familiar. The outside patters are annoying but challenging and become interesting at a certain point because they are always different and very small.
·      1/28
o   11:30p.m.-1a.m., 1.5 hours
o   Watching The Heat, it’s completely uninspiring. An un-feminist comedy masquerading as woman’s empowerment. A men vs. Women attitude only encourages hate.
·      So cold out. The dog is going crazy because she hasn’t been out for a walk in a week. The cold is so disruptive, I can’t work when my hands are cold because they cramp up.

Total time for 1 pad is 8-10.5 hours

Quilt square

·      Working in a small space
·      Trying to save pads so as not to waste money, using scraps in between them so they don’t stick to each other.
·      1/28
o   12:30a.m.-1:30a.m. 1 hour
·      It’s tedious cutting out the patterns. There is a lot of prep-work because I have to cut out both the patterns and interfacing.
·      Putting each individual quilt block’s pieces in its own zip-lock helps because I can just grab one and I know all the pieces are there ready to be sewn together
·      Just cutting out pieces I get sick of the smell of the pads. It is this weird baby powder/floral scent. I read that there is only one pad that is actually smell free and odor trapping but it costs much more than any other pad. All the other ones just mask the scent with deodorant type products in the lining of the pad.
·      The scent gets sickening but I think part of it is the scent/memory connection. It reminds me of having my period which makes me a little nauseous, which is what having my period tends to do.
·      The act of unwrapping the pads is somewhat soothing. The sounds and feel, the way I have to straighten them, becomes a small prep-work ritual. The actual use of a pad is somewhat ritualistic as well- unwrapping the clean, white cotton, and then wrapping up and throwing away the dirty ones.
·      9/2
o   11:15-1:00

total time: 1 hour cutting out patterns, 1-1.75 hours to put together one square

Reproductive system
     Cutting out the patterns I do in a big factory style. I have 5 patterns I’ve been working with, so I cut out 5 at a time.
·      I have to make sure to keep every pattern together; I’ve lost pieces before and had to re-cut them.
·      Using the sewing machine goes pretty quickly. It’s hypnotizing, the sound and motion of it. I’ve used my machine so much over the years it’s very easy to get into the swing of using it.
·      Once I get one all sewn together, I have to stuff it and do the hand work. I stuff the ovary pieces first and sew them up, then stuff the tubes and sew the ovary pieces into place. Then I stuff the body of the piece and sew up the vaginal area. Then I sew the definition of the vaginal area into place, so it creates a dip in the fabric.
Sewing these by hand goes a lot slower and is counter-productive. I have done 2 by hand so far because the fabric was slippery and hard to control under the machine. These turned out well, but because of the type of fabric they are more likely to get holes in them

Monday, February 17, 2014

Working hard, hardly working

I say hardly working because this is fun. I had a little while where I was sick of my work, sick of the process, sick of the materials, and especially sick of the smell of the materials. But, visualizing it in the gallery space and really knowing it's going up sooner than later makes it exciting.
I've developed a better display system for the pads. Adding some detail photos of the pads here:

Only two more to make. Ten done. 

And will add photos of the display system as soon as I get some. If you are in the space, stop by and look and let me know what you think! Each pad has a display box with a drawer that opens so they can be inspected easier and touched. I am going to hang each display box on the wall, 1 inch away from the one below, in 4 rows of 3 or 3 rows of 4, not sure.

The quilt is in progress, coming along very nicely. I've reversed it on the wall, again photos to come soon. The texture of the back, as well as the emphasis on the making, is very appealing. I am going to hang it spaced off the wall, so the front is visible with a little work from the viewer. It glows on the wall. Still not 100% sure on this but it is what i'm working with now.

quick health update; Migraines have lessened lately but neck pain is intense. Getting a shot between two vertebrae in a couple of weeks to try and numb the nerves and lessen the pain. Hopefully this allows me to function normally!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014


This week has found me writing a lot about my process, on the suggestion of Tamara. It's been interesting to put into words the process of working, something I usually just do and don't think about too much. I've had some interesting revelations about the connection between my day to day activities and my work.
I've also started a new piece, or rather series of pieces. Here is a video of the first one. Please disregard the sound, it's inconsequential to the piece at the moment.

And some photos 

Here are some things i've been looking at this week:
At 3:30 is my favorite part. 

Sunday, January 19, 2014

downhill sledding

Here we are, the start to the final semester! A lot of work to do before the end.
I've been working on making the individual reproductive systems over break. They are pretty easy to do, just kind of tedious. I'm not aiming for perfection on them; they all have flaws, as do all people in the world. Also making more of the beaded pads. I have been reflecting on colour combinations and what those might mean to different people. The cultural perceptions related to colour. I think the feedback I get in Critique about this will be interesting. 
Thinking about where things will go in the show. It is really crazy to go into the gallery and envision work there. Such a big space! Also, for me, just thinking about putting some of the work on the wall is nerve wracking. 
Here are some photos of things i've been working on: 

Some people and things i've been looking at: