Directions for the Mind: Denise

Another update on Directions for the Mind, a collaboration between artist Laura Bucci and other artists, acquaintances, and strangers.

This past Saturday, September 23, artist Denise Holland joined me at Parking Spot Projects to add the last touches to this serial collaboration.

First, we sat in the space and caught up on life. In the background, my neighbour’s soothing jazz music was playing (Martin Walton). Denise was in a funky mood, but unwinding yarn balls via a rolling motion and moving gingerly about this happy space proved to be soothing.

And finally, we drew on the floor with yarn—this was something I wanted to do in the space for a while but it only made sense to do at the end of the exhibition as it greatly diminished the ability to walk around the space. We also made some straight lines which hovered just above the floor. Moving about started to become a challenge. No fast moves here. Several passersby came up to the window and looked in, smiles forming and wonder appearing on their faces.

Maybe they wished they could enter the space.

But the space was both private and public. Anytime I had guests collaborating, I never put a sandwich board outside or had the door open. Inviting entry would have interfered with our focus and the creation of a private and safe space—this is especially important as the neighbourhood is very troubled and poor.

One of the benefits of the gallery that I came to appreciate was indeed this inside/outside, private/public feature of the space. This allowed me to successfully use the space as both a studio and exhibition space.

This project has given me a taste of collaboration—I have ideas brewing for more in the future.

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Directions for the Mind: Patsy and Valerie

Another update on Directions for the Mind, a collaboration between artist Laura Bucci and other artists, acquaintances, and strangers.

This time I was joined by two local artists. I invited Patsy Kay Kolesar, who is a jewelry artist, and she brought Valerie Arntzen, an assemblage artist. I have known Patsy for a number of years but hadn’t talked to her for at least a couple of years. Valerie, I knew by name only.

After catching up on life, I turned the conversation to collaboration, asking in what ways both Patsy and Valerie had collaborated with other artists and describing how this particular collaboration had evolved thus far. One of them suggested we work on creating something together each holding a different colour yarn, doing something with it on our side of the room and passing one’s ball of yarn to the next person—maybe you can picture that? We each anchored ourselves to different parts of the walls, creating a triangle and joining three walls.

The result is a web of yarn that asks the body to bend and crouch to move around. And when in the room, it looks like a circus roof—hard to see that in the pictures. As in previous encounters, the conversation flowed. One thing we talked about is how important it is for artists to create situations to come together and support each other. Valerie mentioned one such group she hosts at ther studio (I think). Everyone brings something to work on. It doesn’t have to be an art piece, it could a dress you’re sewing—the requirement is simply to bring a project. I love this idea. It removes the common experience of isolation that is often the case for many artists. This is especially true for artists that work from home, such as myself. So if you have a studio, you have the opportunity to create community.

One fo the motivations behind Directions for the Mind is to create community and to do this by using the gallery space as a studio. What we create collaboratively is becoming a colourful feast, a colourful ‘tangle’ (quoting a passerby) for passersby to see. At night especially, with the gallery lights on, it is a colourful spectacle.

I left this encounter happy and satisfied, realizing “I” made this happen and thankful that I trusted my creativity months ago even if not knowing what would happen. Stepping into the unknown is uncomfortable but necessary for growth.

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Seen below are Valerie and Patsy.

Directions for the Mind Collaboration: Beth

Another update on Directions for the Mind, a collaboration between artist Laura Bucci and other artists, acquaintances, and strangers.

On Monday, September 18 I was joined by Beth Cunningham, an artist originally from the Northeast of the USA but now established in the Hill Country of Texas. I had just met Beth on the weekened where we were both participants in a workshop led by Tilleke Schwarz at MAIWA School of Textiles. There were 14 of us in the workshop and I wasn’t sitting next to Beth but we did have a chance to chat a little bit and during show and tell we got to share our previous/current work. Sometimes you feel your attention repeatedly drawn to a certain person, when this happens, I think you have to respond. And I did by inviting Beth to join me at the galley and participate before returning to Texas. Luckily Beth had one more day in Vancouver and she said Yes, I accept!

So this was the first time it was just me and one another person collaborating. This time, I decided to guide the collaboration by asking Beth to look around the space and answer the question ‘what does the space need?’ Beth shared a short story about an encounter she had at a coffee shop with a young man. Essentially, they had a conversation about ‘hope.’ Hoping for things to get better, feel better. At the workshop, we had focused a fair amount of time on stitching techniques for text. This resulted in the decision to add text to the installation. Beth created the word ‘hope’ and ‘look,’ and following her lead, I created ‘engage.’ So besides the ‘xox’ already present on the wall, these were the first words to appear on the walls.

We had a wonderful time together and I felt elated later as I sat a cafe processing the experience. I was so glad for my spontaneous invitation. I hope to see Beth again in the future.

This experience brought to mind these words I recorded in my journal and that I heard or read somewhere, but can’t remember where:

You are responsible for your own happiness.

Read Full Project Info

September 5 – 23 | Parking Spot Projects, 8 East Cordova, Vancouver
There are no gallery hours but Installations can easily be seen through the large windows.

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In the video below, I have muted the audio to keep our conversation private.

Directions for the Mind Collaboration: Lorna & Jill

Another update on Directions for the Mind, a collaboration between artist Laura Bucci and other artists, acquaintances, and strangers. On September 11, Lorna Boschman (artist, researcher, teacher) and Jill Mandrake (writer, musician, and more) joined Laura Bucci to add on to/take away from/re-place onto/from previous collaborations thus far.

Given a chance to play, different parts of a person’s personality can emerge. Lorna, whom I’ve known since 2006, surprised me with her desire to destroy some hanging yarn that bothered her. Who knew! While I have organized these encounters, I did not impose rules or opinions on the collaboration thus far.

But performing this ‘collaboration’ experiment has been a generative experience which is leading to ideas on future ways of collaborating.

Read Full Project Info

September 5 – 23 | Parking Spot Projects, 8 East Cordova, Vancouver
There are no gallery hours but Installations can easily be seen through the large windows.

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The fan, much needed for this small space and seen in the video, provided an opportunity to play with movement.

Directions for the Mind Collaboration: Carrie & Emma

Here is a visual update of the first collaboration that took place today at Parking Spot Projects (8 East Cordova) for our project called Directions for the Mind. Today, Carrie brought her friend Emma to participate in this ephemeral yarn installation with Laura Bucci. An interesting question came up: Should each participant add to the current installation so that at the end of the exhibition the gallery is filled to the rim with yarn? My original plan was for each participant to decide whether to build on the current installation or start from scratch but I do like the idea of the space getting gradually filled with yarn. It is a pretty site indeed.

Read Project Info

September 5 – 23 | Parking Spot Projects, 8 East Cordova, Vancouver
Installations can easily be seen from the outside

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