Tuesday, November 17, 2009

A Year of Chairs Begins with Baby Steps

After our Gathering of Women Artists meeting last week, I have been inspired to think about what I can created that is large yet has small components. My friend and fellow artist HsinYi Huang is creating an installation with several hundred pod shapes that hang on the wall. With all the discussion with other fellow members, Nes, Katie, Renee and Alison, about "possibilities" for me and how to deal with my physical limitations of my wrist and mental limitations that I am imposing upon myself, I decided to move forward. Michael took me to Georgie's on Saturday where I bought 100 LB of clay, thanks in part to the generous gift certificate my beloved daughter Jenni gave me last year. I chose a very soft, non groggy clay that will be easy to handle. The Wonder White clay is so soft and supple, that I am forced to work small and slowly, since it takes time for the clay to firm up and hold it's shape. My thoughts, ironically yet totally uninfluenced by the upcoming Chair Affair, is multiples of very small chairs that will hang on the wall. I thought about what the image of the chair conjures up in my mind, and began to feel inspired. Some of my thoughts: The chair is a universal item that most people in the world have sat upon at some point in their lives. It is something that waits to be filled. It is empty and reminds us of someone's absence. We enjoy a wonderful dinner in restaurants, we wait in waiting rooms for help or anxiously waiting in a hospital praying for good news. We sit on it at happy occassions with our loved ones. We sit on chairs in jury duty, waiting rooms as our cars are worked on, waiting for doctor's appointments and waiting to pick up our prescriptions. We sit for hours at our desks or in our studios being productive or struggling to solve a problem. We wait at the airport happily awaiting a much anticipated visitor or tense about a delayed flight in bad weather. We sit for hours in school learning or daydreaming. We sun ourselves at the poolside and read books at the library.We laugh and cry at the movies............This is just the beginning of the interest I am having in the idea of chairs. I would like to have the goal, hand allowing, of creating a very small white chair a day, that will hang on the wall. Ideally 365 chairs but that remains to be seen. I will leave some chairs empty, while filling others with sometting that I have collected or will be collecting in the coming days that creates a narrative for me. I am very excited about the prospect of touching clay once again. I made my first chair yesterday. Did my wrist hurt, yes. Did my spirit come alive with the birth of a new creative venture, absolutely. The silky delicious clay on my fingertips, heavenly. Baby steps..........less can be more. Therein lies my challenge. Another opportunity to grow and learn.


Sparks of Spirit Glass said...

this is EXCITING!. i wanted to use the word "very" but have vowed to minimize it's use!
i love your thought process and am excited to see what you do with it as time progresses.

i adore the "less is more" philosophy and struggle to learn and relearn it.

how cool that a magnificent organization and their clients will benefit from our collective struggles as artists....Think i'll go sit in my favorite chair now and ponder this some more!

katie said...

This is really exciting Jo! What a great project.
You totally rock!
Hugs! You are inspiring!