C L A R I T Y : a new series on the way

A beautiful word, C L A R I T Y. We artists plod along year after year searching for clarity in our work: the meaning behind it and what defines our art in particular. We all have to go through that soul searching process, which is never fun but a necessary part of our job. 

Not sure if who's studio this is (anyone know?) but just look
at all the exploration going on here! UPDATE: The studio is Ree Morton's. Thanks SID!
Stumbling upon the idea for the foreclosure quilts was so wonderful for me. In the back of my head though, I was always thinking ... what's next? How on earth can I do another series that will live up to the meaning and poignancy I managed to create with those quilts? And what about that medium? Am I a fiber artist or a conceptual artist? If I'm a conceptual artist, it frees me up to pick and chose any medium that the work dictates it should be. After much deliberation I can say now that I'm a conceptual artist and I am free to use whatever medium is right for the work. Whew! It was hard to come around to that.

Saved Shreds, 2011.
So what kind of conceptual artist am I? I know that land use and economics are crucial factors in my work. And I know that global land grabbing and industrial agriculture is where all of my passion is focused right now.

Limbang Borneo Oil Palm plantation. Yes, that's right, that's
forest clear cutting. All of the beige in the photo is terraced farmland.
The problem I had was how to bring these issues to light in my work using a medium that would grab you like the quilts did. I tried using fiber, I really did. But it just never clicked. And then I had an aha moment (don't you love those!). I had just told my mind to be open in influence and listen and wait and listen and wait. It took six months which seems like a blip now but certainly didn't when I was becoming frustrated waiting. You know how you look back on your work and see the solution was staring at you right in the face but you couldn't connect the dots? Seriously.

Connect the dots clay series, 2009.
And remember this post? Well, I'm ready for it now. Clay. Clay. Clay. What better way to hit people square in the face with food issues than at the table? I have grand dreams: installations, dinner parties, entire lines of table settings. It can't hurt to dream! I start my clay class next week and I'll keep you posted with all the messy and crazy progress. It will be a fun ride. And think of all those amazing artisans I have yet to feature in the medium. Keep your napkins on your lap!


Foreclosure Quilt : Southern Chase

I finished a new foreclosure quilt last week, this one is located in Concord, North Carolina in the Southern Chase neighborhood. I was commissioned to make the piece for a journalist, Binyamin Appelbaum, who co-wrote a series of articles in the Charlotte Observer on the unusually high rate of foreclosures seen among one particular builder, Beazer Homes.

Southern Chase Foreclosure Quilt, 2012. 23" x 30"
Linen, cotton, cotton voile, string and embroidery thread.
Beazer created the Southern Chase neighborhood to specifically provide low cost homes to low income families. One out of every five homes ended up in foreclosure. There were numerous red flags with their practices but one alarming one was that they arranged mortgage loans for  two-third's of the buyers. The idea that builders can arrange mortgage loans just seems like a bad idea to me.

Southern Chase Foreclosure Quilt detail, 2012. 23" x 30"
Linen, cotton, cotton voile, string and embroidery thread.
Beazer Homes was accused of violating federal lending laws in 2009, and reached a settlement which you can read about here.

Southern Chase Foreclosure Quilt detail, 2012. 23" x 30"
Linen, cotton, cotton voile, string and embroidery thread.

The list is long of investigations, one of them was worth $50,000,000 for Mortgage and Accounting Fraud with United States. Needless to say, Beazer is still busy building homes throughout the US. Please view the entire series of articles via this link written by Binyamin Appelbaum, Lisa Hammersly Munn and Ted Mellnik. I wonder what would have happened with Beazer Homes had these journalists not written the articles. We need more people like them!


Artist : Lady Saphire

I came across these images the other day and had to share. Stunning, absolutely stunning, don't you agree?
Every morning a grapefruit, 2012 by Lady Saphire.
There's just something so compelling about them. The idea of using a tradiational frame to confine such a beautiful chaos.

Most Grateful to Tom L. Too, 2012 by Lady Saphire.
It gives new meaning to the word 'framework'.

Many Years in the Making, 2012 by Lady Saphire. 
The artist's statement reads:

"Materials. From everywhere – on the street, broken, loved, unloved - the excitement of a torn piece of paper, a candy wrapper, scraps of fabric, plastic. So many beautiful objects, life is incredible."

Lady Saphire

Most Grateful to Tom L., 2012 by Lady Saphire.
See more images here with detailed photos. I can't wait to see what comes next.


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