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Archive for the ‘Pepperdine’ Category

Identity Tapestry at Pepperdine’s “Reel Stories”

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This has been a great process and the piece went very well.  It was tricky, knowing that I would only have a single day to set up in LA after flying in the previous night from SF, but I knew I could do it, especially with help.

IMG_4089This is in my studio in SF.  It takes me hours to arrange where the posts with the statements about Identity go. Since I knew I would have limited installation time I did a sort of map on some butcher paper that was the same size as the panel.  It worked perfectly.  We taped it over the panel during setup, drilled right through the paper, screwed in the posts, added the labels and tore away the paper.  🙂  I love when things work.  Also, this gives me a process that I can potentially pass on to a curator.

LA was unfortunately getting a ton of rain on the day of the installation and event.  The Reel Stories organizers were scrambling to get tents and other last-minute rain protection.  After some hiccups and problem-solving, we set up a wall to withstand the wind, protected from the rain.  They got the lighting in and everything was set up beautifully.

Installation of the actual piece went more quickly and smoothly than it ever has before.  The organizers and volunteers were extremely helpful and sweet for the entire thing.

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The response was overwhelmingly positive.  The character of the place came through very clearly in the tapestry too.  The most obvious things were the demographic- these were mostly students, and it showed in statements like “I am a homeowner” being almost blank.  Other things about the community came through though- the love of travel, the values of service to others, listening, care-taking… those were all very strong.  The religious and spiritual  background of the school (something I hadn’t know about until I got there) also came through, in combination with a desire for open-mindedness and exploration.  It was clearly a portrait of a unique community.

This is the sixth time I’ve done the piece, but each one before was a more extended group around a gallery or type of place, but never with almost everyone in the same community.  The distinction was visible in the work.

This is still my favorite piece.  It changes every time and I love seeing how different groups of people create it.  Much thanks to Sarah Attar for finding my work online and bringing me and Identity Tapestry to Pepperdine for the Reel Stories film festival.

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Written by Mary Corey March

January 27, 2013 at 3:57 am

definitely not a hermit

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IMG_4088No.  My interactive work always comes out of community.  Last night four of my friends helped me to attach the skeins of yarn I’d dyed to rocks and wind them into balls for Identity Tapestry (see previous posts).

What you see to the left is roughly four hours of work done by five wonderful women.  We sat and talked and drank tea and wine and wound, and tied and glued and wound.  I still have many more skeins left to go, but it’s all in sight now.  Yes, I did the first two iterations of Identity Tapestry alone (and pregnant!), but it’s not really a project that is made for that.  I think I prefer this to a hired team or doing it alone.  My friends are wonderful people.

For a rarer dash of the personal, even this small cross-section shows you what interesting people I have around me.  They were respectively a Google engineer/manager who builds interactive experiences and used to do Science museum exhibits and does glass work and now welding as hobbies (and is a mean Swing Dancer), a vision scientist (which includes a share of neuroscience) who also designs knitting patters and is a professional and competitive dancer (including Cancan), a nurse who does nursing missions all over the world and has been my companion at Burning Man, and a lady who is a social cat-herder people-helper and coordinator.

A handful of my art school friends are more community and compassion oriented.  We intend to consciously inject more of that into our art-world interactions as much as we can.  It needs it.

Written by Mary Corey March

January 15, 2013 at 12:05 am

Dyeing for Identity Tapestry

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IMG_4081To the left you see yesterday’s dyeing work (with the exception of those already wound into balls- those are ones I didn’t use in the last round).  I spent a good 6 hours the day before yesterday taking the skeins of yarn I buy at the store and rewinding them into many small skeins the right lengths for the artwork.  Every single one has to be a slightly different color, with an even balance of colors overall.  Over time I’ve found that for every foot the Tapestry is long I need to give participants at least a yard of yarn.  But I don’t do that, not every time.

From the beginning I felt it was important to make some lengths too short.  I wanted a sense of mortality in the piece- the sense that not everyone gets to do and say everything, that we don’t know when we might come up short.  Others are far longer than they need to be.  The variance is not only seen visually in the color, but in the cards dealt, so to speak.  I still need to vary based on being on either end of a certain mark though, so I am making the majority within a few yards of 12 ft.

This photo contains 110-ish colors.  Another 100-ish or so left to dye tomorrow.  Today I’m re-winding another stack of skeins.  The loose skeins in the bottom right (laid out in lines) are the original colors I started with.  I always keep one each of those too.  Dyeing over a range of colors gives so much more depth to the colors in the end.  I love over-dyeing.  It just makes me want to eat the colors.

Written by Mary Corey March

January 11, 2013 at 5:04 am

Identity Tapestry at Pepperdine University “Reel Stories” Film Festival

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BlankI am currently building the 6th iteration of Identity Tapestry.  She’ll be a bit longer again this time (12 feet).  A student at Pepperdine helping to organize the Reel Stories film festival found a video of Identity Tapestry on the Internet and fell in love with it.  She thought an interactive artwork that told people’s stories would be a perfect compliment to the festival.

Rather than doing a bad copy of it she asked my permission to use it.  When I explained the work behind it and that it is a fine art piece, etc. she got behind me coming out to the school and doing it properly.  The administration side of the film festival agreed and there we are.  I’m so glad there are people willing to respect artists’ work!

It will be a bit tricky, and I’m only flying down for the final installation, but it looks like everything will work.  I start building/dyeing today.

The piece will be up for the festival Jan 25th 6-10 at Pepperdine University’s Malibu campus.  It may be on display elsewhere in the school for the month following, but that’s still up in the air.

Here we go!

Written by Mary Corey March

January 8, 2013 at 2:28 am