This year has been a rough year…more than a couple of significant deaths: my good friend Bob, my step-grandfather, my father-in-law; even divorce was in the process for me. Yet overall, I managed to keep up with my studies at the Kansas City Art Institute, though through it all I thought for sure I was failing. I don’t think I neglected my children (too much) and I managed to avoid drinking myself into oblivion. I survived. I am now working on my marriage instead of proceeding with divorce, and thankfully I don’t think my children are going to grow up to be serial killers. However, due to my potential divorce I took a semester off school to get my life in order; and even though divorce is now off the table, I feel the impact of needing this time off before I return to school and fulfill my final 33 credit hours, before moving forward into a life of making art and teaching.
From my previous semester at the Art Institute, I do have some work to share. Although I can’t honestly say I’m happy with it, but share I must my series of 4-layered hand dyed weavings, hand woven on a computer dobby loom. The full piece is titled “Mother, Children, and the Significant Insignificant”.
These weavings, which are actually one continuous weaving cut into four pieces, reflect so many aspects of the emotional state I was in while dealing with divorce. The color scheme, the size of each one, the looseness or tightness of a particular weave- it was all planned…….they are all relevant to me. I feel selfish saying that, but while I worked on “Mother, Children, and the Significant Insignificant” weaving, I also had another loom set up with contrasting, conflicting fibers of heavy linen and a drapey rayon.
This particular weaving was intended to be, and did turn out to be my “pretty” weaving to include in the end of semester’s critiques, though ironically, the fibers had to fight with each other to provide an aesthetically pleasing outcome, perhaps significant to the healing of my marriage and calming of the tension in my life.
Definitely, this second weaving was a necessary and relevant extension of myself.
The “pretty” weaving, currently with no title, is actually unfinished. My intent is to paint it with moss and see what happens. I will definitely post the outcome…..
I don’t intend to draw up a pity party or sound whiny through this post, but rather I hope to connect with other artists who can also relate to the act of art as a form of expression, not just making for aesthetic reasons, even during the ugliest moments of life. Years ago, my predominant form of expression used to be through writing, now it is visual as well as verbal. On that note, I have yet to enter all my writings into an electronic device as I initially so enjoyed typing them on a typewriter and rereading them on paper. There is never enough time though, it seems; and I feel when I turn the corner, peer across the scape (whatever kind of scape it might be), my daughter will too be a mother, my son will have a mustache, my husband will admit how much he really loves me, and my art will express how much she suffered through all my life endeavors.
Rochelle Brickner (Owings)