This was my collaboration “start” for the Rørpost Project. This work was sent to an artist in Esbjerg Denmark, who will alter this piece and send it back to me.
My working title was "Rain Day” and I started this the day Tropical Storm Bill was scheduled to make landfall in Houston. I had been released from work because the city was "hunkering down," anticipating flooding and winds. But although this storm looked terrible on radar and was on the heels of terrible flooding a few weeks prior, this storm came through as mild, with just a few pleasant showers. I captured gentle rain patterns in various media that afternoon. I love naturally occurring chaotic patterns, especially when they are indexical like this, leaving a record of what has happened. It also makes me very happy when it's raining, and I can hole up at home without having to go anywhere. Of course I don’t want devastation, but I'm grateful when nature gently interrupts the daily patterns of the city/business. Somehow, my life just feels more "real" to me then.
One of the most "homey" things in my art vocabulary is incorporation of needle arts. So, I took various bits of the patterns, embroidered a "blanket stich" on the (heavy watercolor paper) pieces to be joined, and then crocheted them together, so that this it references quilts/blankets and domesticity. So it becomes "Rain Day" - something for him, literally of Houston and of me. I know the artist I’m paired with works primarily in bronze figurative sculpture, so I thought it would be a fun, and kind of funny, contrast to send him something with pink thread in it.
Unfortunately, I have one of the few partners that has not been communicative, so I still don’t know what he thinks about this. But while I didn’t hear from him, one of the Danish organizers, who is actually Canadian, let me know she got the spirit of this piece, because it is a “Snow Day” in Canada that brings things to a halt. She said she also though it captures unplanned "hyggeligt," a Danish concept of cozy and more, which she finds to be a key element of Danish life.
I ended up really liking this work, so I’m a little nervous to see what happens to it. The next stage of the process will be to create a new artwork work in response to wherever he’s taken this piece!
CC: @rumblepress for what I was up to when TS Bill came through; and @ellocrafting and @ellotextiles because thread!