In the early days of the pandemic quarantine I felt confusion, fear, anger, and the physical manifestation of stress. Unlike most of my neighbors, I took short exercise walks in the eerie deserted streets. Gradually, discarded latex gloves, disposable face masks and disinfectant wipes began to appear in the neighborhood. People were not in public: they were isolated behind closed doors. I saw the discarded PPE as public evidence of hidden private tragedies occurring minute by minute.
Nan’s Redesigns Etsy shop awakened when a friend wanted pillows made from traditional clothing from Cameroon for her daughter and partner’s new apartment. The dresses were deconstructed, washed and dried, and pieced together for 5 different pillows. My Etsy shop sold fabric handbags made from clothing, household textiles, remnants, and garage sale fabrics. A housewarming gift made with love.
For the third year, I am sending IFS themed collages to Dick Schwartz’s January IFS retreat on the island of Molokai, Hawaii. The small works commemorate my eldest brother Michael who taught watercolor painting at the University of Hawaii, Honolulu campus. His watercolors and hand-stamped papers are mixed with my acrylic painting pieces, cyanotypes, fabric, solvent image transfers, with machine stitching and hand embroidery. The eight C’s and five P’s of Self energy are added to these gifts of healing and rememberance for the retreat participants.
What a vibrant and successful Cambridge Open Studios 2019! How grateful I am to family and friends and new buyers for your love and support. Themes this year for my exhibit were personal and political: the Compassion Series and Climate Crisis Series. (on sale in the New Work section) “Sewing on canvas?” was a curious lean-in-to-look question for the mixed-media Compassion paintings. Rich discussions on the climate crisis, with one teary viewer relating how her mother survived the California fires. Mexican photographer, Carlos Arzaga was drawn to the “climate refugees” fabric collage. Also, there was interest in my processes to create cyanotypes in the Climate Crisis 8″x8″ fabric collages, and the rust colored textiles in the Rusted Trees Series. Internal Family Systems was a welcome topic with the sale of the new Qualities of Self laminated posters. (find in the IFS section) Thank you to my fellow artist, Mantaj Hans and her children for the continuous music and energy during the weekend. More info: www.cambridgema.gov/arts/Programs/openstudios
Richard Schwartz, PhD, accepted a custom painting entitled The Hope Merchant, as a gift of gratitude from me. I presented the painting to him during an IFS training at the Cambridge Health Alliance in April. Thank you Dr. Schwartz for founding the Internal Family Systems paradigm that is used in psychotherapy, addictions treatment, conflict negotiations, childhood education, and as a personal daily practice. IFS extends compassion and hope in a world of complexity.
“Self-Leadership” (for sale in 100 Part in 100 Days Series) won a Governor’s Citation in recognition of being chosen for a juried exhibition sponsored by the Massachusetts Office on Disability. The Breaking Barriers exhibit (November 14-24) in the Mass. State House is available online at www.mass.gov/mod/art. Governor Charles D. Baker’s citation reads: “Your artwork helps raise awareness of how people with disabilities overcome barriers and stigma.”