all the things for which I am so thankful… [installation art, denverpost.com, clothing, blue skies]
I am so thankful. I am thankful to have a roof over my head. Thankful to have food on my table. Thankful to have clothes to wear, something cool to drink on a hot day, friends to spend the evening with, a car to drive to the store. Shoes to strap on my feet. A soft bed to rest on after a long day.
I am thankful that the sun shines and the sky is blue, that I can walk down the street without feeling fear. That I can express myself without being censored, that I have the freedom to believe what I want to, speak how I choose and dress in the clothes that I want. I am thankful to have a family, to be healthy and to have a support system of family and friends that believe in me and cheer me on in everything I do.
This is just the tip of the iceberg. There are so, so many things in life to be thankful for. So many things I take for granted on a daily basis. What if I didn’t have food? What if I didn’t have a family, what if I didn’t have clothes to wear?
Last weekend was the show glass.fiber.stone at the Historic Feed and Grain here in Loveland. I made two installation art pieces to go in this show. The first was designed as a performance piece resulting in a finished installation art piece that was up for the remainder of the show. For this piece I collected bags and bags of unsalable clothing items from the Loveland Habitat for Humanity ReStore, as they were kind enough to donate all of the materials necessary for the completion of this piece. I started by tearing up sheets and sheets and sheets into strips and then sewing them together into one long piece of “yarn”. I then created a huge “loom” by attaching this strip of yarn to the board shown in the photo at intervals of 3 inches using wire. The boards were firmly attached to the ceiling beam and the porch floor. During the opening of the show, I wove this large piece of cloth using yarn made from clothing that I lashed together using real yarn. It was a very hot evening, and it was definitely hard work, but it was worth it! The finished piece measures 11 feet x 12 feet and is really heavy!
The basic idea for this piece is to raise awareness about the lack of comfort many people in this world live with on a daily basis. We as Americans have so much excess in terms of food, shelter, and especially clothing! There was a sign joining this piece to tell the story of a friend of mine from Uganda that started a school for deaf children to give them a better life. The uniforms for the girls include a skirt with shorts sewn in to help protect them from rape. One small item of clothing can make a huge difference in the life of a child!
To give you and idea of how big this weaving really is, check out this photo of the Loveland Feed and Grain. Note the bus on the right side, then note that the weaving is taller than the bus! It took me a total of about 4 hours to weave this piece from beginning to end, and I had to make more “yarn” after 3 hours because I ran out.
I did say that I made two pieces for this show. I will save the second piece for the next post, so stay tuned! Until then, you can check out this blog post
by Susan Clotfelter of the denverpost.com blog Colorado At Home. She wrote a stunning review and I am so thankful she spent the time to get to know the pieces I made!