Fiber Arts #4: I am the universe…

So, today, we return to Fiber Arts. Toward the end of my college career (in the spring of 2005), I became incredibly interested in mandalas and meditation. Particular the conceptualization of self and existence as impossible to extricate — we are all quantum-ly entangled in the world in which we find ourselves to be miraculously alive. And thus began a series of pieces on that theme…all while I was researching mandalas in Japan, India and elsewhere.

Today, I’m showing you the second — for the first, you’ll have to jump over to the next Fiber Arts post (#5). To be fair, this print was the one I finished first, as my weaving (which I’ll be talking about soon) got stalled once I realized how complex tapestry weave is (LIFTING the warp strings in EACH spot I wanted specific colors?!? ARGH!). Anyway, the initial idea was to create my own mandala using images and ideas from my own experiences.

But, I mean, come on, here and here, haven’t I already done that, in a way? (Okay, so maybe only a little).

The first designs mainly featured an image of Willow from Buffy the Vampire Slayer — where she is casting a spell in the Season 7 episode, “Him.” I also considered using an image of Buffy and Willow meditating, but the image of Willow worked better as the grounding point of the image I wound up with — here it is (sorry, I didn’t save any of the drawings for this one):

So, you can see how Willow becomes the central root point for the other figures and a symbol for focus — in the form of a boxer pic I had for some reason (representing physical strength and defensiveness) and Jennifer Connolly from a still from the film Dark City (representing emotional/spiritual strength and open-ness). The connection that I was seeking was one to nature, so a tree rising above in the background was important, as was it equally important that a male figure (Oz of Buffy) exist to counterbalance the female root.

Yeah, I was weird about gender and the need for balance in my use of differently gendered peoples.

The part that I like most now is the magnetic fields emanating from the tree and the two sides of the giant floating head guy. I wish I had done more with abstract fields and trees and less with all these people I saw in films and TV shows.

Which we’ll get to in the next post, as we turn to just such a turn in my artwork. Specifically, we’ll be looking at some tapestries I made using ripped up fabric as yarn that focus on images that stand in for the universe or for some other kind of macrocosmic sense of belonging or being pulled into existence.

Yeah, so art school definitely had the standard effect on me — giving me a better sense of bullshittery and gobblety gook while also messing with my goals and style as a visual artist. Ha!

Until later,

J

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