Saturday, July 16, 2016

July. The world has gone mad.

July, 2016.
I do not know how to change the name of this blog from Ulysses Glove Project, which it is not, to Stitching Mona, which it is. But, I am just going to go ahead and post the thing, because what does it really matter?

My label gown is finished. I finished it last month. I have been working on this gown, and the project, for around two years now. No one (except me) has seen all of the pieces. I haven't had input or criticism from anyone. I am listening to my own voice, for better or worse.
This has been the most creative and solitary project of my artist's life. I keep thinking of ideas for this installation, of pieces to add. I have one finished gown, and another that is a work in progress. I have drawings, photography, embroidery, collage. I have spent money on supplies...real money. It is the first time I have ever spent money on my work.
I gave myself a week off from my job so that I could sew for hours at a time. It is the first time I have ever done that. So, a lot of firsts.

The date for my solo show, when I will present this work to the world (well, the limited world of people who want to see and are able to come to my exhibit at the Yellow Peril Gallery in Providence) is October 1, 2016.
Half the show will be Stitching Mona. The other half will be my Manuscript/Word drawings, which are being framed, beautifully. I spent money on those too.

In the last months, there have been many innocent black men, and at least one black woman, killed by police officers. There have been police officers killed in retaliation. There was a slaughter of 49 souls at a club in Orlando, of mostly LGTB Latina patrons, and their friends, and family members. There have been horrific terrorist attacks throughout the world. The news come like labor pains...too quickly to breathe through them.
Donald Trump is the Republican nominee for President of the United States.
Lin Manuel-Miranda has become a household name, at least in my house, where he has provided us with a welcome distraction  by providing an uplifting soundtrack and a few precious video images of his creation Hamilton, the musical.
I am thin. Too thin to donate blood, which I had been doing on a regular basis for the past few years.

When I am not working at my job, and on Stitching Mona, I am doing paintings of bricks.
I had never thought of bricks as a subject matter until I did. They have invaded my waking and sleeping hours. They won't be part of this show, but maybe, in the future, I'll have enough for another show.

I wish I had a crystal ball. But not one that would see years into the future. I want one that will show me my life through November. Aside from wondering about the reception of my work, we will have a new president.
There is also a personal matter of great significance, which will turn out one way or another in the coming months.

My mother, Mona, who is the subject of so much of my current creative life, will not see my show. She won't know about it, or care. She can't be disappointed or proud. I don't need a crystal ball to know that.

I looked up the meaning of bricks in dreams, and I have to say, it hit the nail on the head.

/B /Brick

To see a brick in your dream indicates that a tough experience may have hardened your emotions and thoughts.

To dream that you are building a brick wall, represents an emotional “wall” that you are putting up to protect yourself against getting hurt.
It may also indicate that you may be hard on the outside but still sensitive on the inside.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Mother's Day

I did not realize that I have not posted any progress on Stitching Mona in more than two years.
My mother is still alive (I wasn't sure she would be, last I wrote). Her brain is fizzled to a large degree. Today I called to wish her a happy mother's day. In her opinion it was always an idiotic and fake holiday, meant to make idiots buy cards and flowers, and she had no idea that it WAS mother's day. She was cheerful however, as she was drinking her daily scotch "drinkie".

In the more than two years I've been working on the various parts of this project I have lost my way in so many aspects of my life. All I can do is keep going. I am completely unsure as to whether this nightgown, onto which I have sewn hundreds of labels with my mother's maiden name...Mona Lenore Udell, is worthwhile. When the label part is complete (I am on the last row) I am going to finish sewing cloth daisies along the sides, and a variety of cloth flowers on the breasts. The labels are imperfectly sewn. I am aware of every gap, every loose stitch. I am torn between wanting it to be perfect, and accepting that it is the imperfections that make it mine. It is the same exact struggle that is an ongoing theme in nearly every work of art I make.

There are other components to what will be an installation all about Mona. I'll start updating more regularly for my 9 followers. This nightgown is the centerpiece.

Yellow Peril Gallery will show it this fall, if I feel it is worth showing. I think it is. Maybe it will be an epic fail, but if that's the case, at least it'll be epic.

I was reading e mails from 2012 when I had just completed the Ulysses Gloves. That project came with a built in fan base of Joycean scholars. There was a buzz around it.
This project is so personal, I just can't see it clearly. I don't know if anyone else will find it compelling, or if it is so personal that it will only make sense to me. There is no buzz.
I am going forward. At the moment it's all I can do.  I think it's too late to turn around and go back.