Last night, when I was in bed reading The Gods of The Upper Air, I lowered my book and saw in my mind what I wanted to do with my Shadow Drawings.
They didn’t feel right as potholders which is how I was originally thinking of them. But I could see them stretched on canvas stretcher bars, hug on a wall.
Not a painting, not a drawing, not needlework, but a combination of all three.
I always make my work conscious of the fact that I want to sell it. And mostly I do.
But when I decided not to think about selling these pieces, it suddenly freed me up to do something different with them.
In the book, The Gods of the Upper Air author Charles King shows how anthropologists Ruth Benedict and Margaret Mead view Western society as “restricting individual temperaments” by placing people in categories such as gender and race. Mead wrote in her book “Sex and Temperament“…”instead of specializing personality along such simple lines recognize, train, and make a place for many divergent temperamental endowments.
It’s so easy to get stuck in certain ways of thinking and behaving. Of doing what has become comfortable, acceptable, or known. I think it was reading about Benedict’s and Mead’s work that got me to think differently. That inspired me to do something I hadn’t before with these pieces.
In a way, I’ve created my own culture in my studio with my work. My own categories.
King writes” Cultures are cunning tailors They cut garments from convenience and then work hard to reshape individuals to fit them…..Cultural change came about when enough people began to see that the old clothes simply didn’t fit.”
I don’t want to be reshaping my art to fit into a category where it doesn’t belong. I don’t have a category to fit my Shadow Drawings into. I just want them to be what they are.