Solstenen — a year-long chronicling project, documenting the process of the making (and sometimes un-making) of a new body of creative work through a series of residencies — began with a 7-week open-studio residency at the Seattle multidisciplinary art center, The Project Room, July – September, 2011, a one week residency with my 7 year old son at the Centrum Foundation at Fort Worden, Port Townsend, Wa. January 2012, and a series of rural residencies working with my husband and son in Iceland for 5 weeks, during August-September, 2012.
Inspired by an amalgamation of literary works, and exploring themes of weight and physical burden as external symbols of internal self-transformation — identity metamorphosing into the environmental — I’ll be crocheting together wearable mantels of stones, and ‘hair shirts’ of hundreds of hand-sewn feathers.
Summer and Fall 2012, I’ll journey to the western regions of Iceland for 5 weeks for a series of residencies with my husband, artist Paul Margolis and our son, where we’ll use the massive garments to immerse ourselves in the radically dramatic landscape, explore our themes, creating works of environmental installations and interventions, performance, photography and video. Our work will also be to learn about Icelandic mythology, clay and pottery, Icelandic wool and fiber arts, and how this history of traditional arts funnels into Icelandic contemporary art practices.
We will all three, as a family of artists, be working on developing performance-based videos, photography and environmental interventions/installations, together and intuitively. This project is about putting myself as an artist in a radically different place than my comfort zones, using my own body and our private family culture as medium, blending our roles as artists, parents and partners. I’ll also, along with Paul, work together to develop our abilities at creating experimental movement scores and how to capture them on video, and develop new media work. Neither of us are dancers or really performers, but locating our bodies at the center of this work, we are attempting to confront, repair and heal rifts in our lives that have both made our artistic life together possible and also strained it to near-breaking.
Solstenen renders visible the meandering exploratory process ( and the painful starts and stops) involved in creating fully-realized artworks that is often unseen, but a fertile ground that must be laboriously turned. For my artistic practice, that fertile ground is ‘auto-didactic learning, sharing, influence and confluence’. An overlapping strata of concepts layering and growing together like a kombucha mother, I’ll document the alluvial fan of making, researching and connections formed with other makers/thinkers/tinkerers, sometimes through in-depth interviews of guest artists both here in Seattle and in Iceland.