I received my award at ECU last Friday. I'm so glad that I got off work to go because it was so wonderful to see everyone and made me realize how much I need to really start working again.
I've decided to put the weavings that I want to do on hold. They are totally doable on the table loom that I have, but I think having a floor loom would make my life so much easier. Unfortunately, I found one on Craigslist, but the woman sold it before I could go look at it. So, I'll keep searching. It was't really what I wanted anyway.
Since last Friday I have done a lot of sketching an writing. I think that I want to find a way to merge my Undergraduate work and my Graduate work, and I think that I have decided to go back to making textile collages. I still want to work with silk laminated paper and self-portraits, but I want to bring in that collage aspect and play with the duality of the silk paper: it manipulates a lot like paper, but it is really fabric.
I will continue to work with a limited color palette, but I also want to bring in gold leaf. I sampled gold leaf on fabric during my time as an Undergrad, but I've never done anything with it. I found a liquid gold leaf that behaves a lot like paint and I'm excited to use it. Sheets of gold leaf can be so frustrating to work with at times since it is so fragile.
I've decided to bring in the gold since there is a lot of symbolism attached to it. It is associated with wisdom and enlightenment, which I feel is appropriate with regards to what I have learned about life and myself over the past year. I am a different person than I was when I created The Phenomenology of Impairment and that should be an important aspect in my work moving forward.
In addition to the symbolic meaning of gold, I want to play with other symbolic items: magpies (which I want to use as a metaphor for myself), roses, poppies, feathers, and forget-me-nots. All of these things mean something to me and using them in addition to self-portraiture I think will heighten the message I am trying to convey.
That being said, I have wanted to do a series about grief since my grandmother passed in 2011 and I feel I finally know how to do it. My grief over her passing contributed a lot to the depression and anxiety I have felt over the last few years, which is what my thesis was ultimately based on. I still grapple with that sense of grief every now and again, and I don't know how long it will take me to get over it, or if I ever really will.
I think I want to call this body of work (Expressions of Grief) and yes, the parentheses are intentional. So far, all of the working titles for this body of work feature a subtitle in parentheses and are related to an expression of grief or sadness. I am reminded of an aside in a play, which are written in parentheses. Asides are directed at the audience so they know what is going on, but the other players on stage don't. This holds special significance because I feel like I am trying to convey something to the viewers so they have a deeper understanding of what the piece is supposed to mean, but the other players, my family and/or sometimes friends, don't really have any idea what is going on.
So, I think ultimately there will be a series of small pieces that lead up to a series of five larger images based on each stage of the grieving process: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance.
At least that's the plan anyway.