Thursday, April 22, 2021

(Cancer) "IS RELENTLESS. SO ARE WE" is printed on warp strips going vertical. "HAVE YOU EVER SEEN A REAL INDIAN" is printed on strips going horizontal.

Paper, being stiff is easy to manipulate and weave unlike fabric. I notice it too spreads apart on the edges and weave tighter in the center. I don't know why! Why?


Thursday, February 25, 2021

#57. 'Dolly Parton's Christmas Present' 2021.2 58" x 55" Mostly American with some Japanese, Hawaiian, African, Indonesian fabrics, some left over from making Covid-19 masks. NFS. Gifted 2021.3.18.

 A podcast hosted by Jad Abumrad led me to Dolly Parton's song 'Coat of Many Colors'. This inspired me to make as traditional a quilt as I could. It's worth listening to 'Dolly Parton's America'.

Thursday, July 23, 2020

54. 'Spring-20 (Confined Chaos)' 2020.6 68" x 68" if arranged on a pedestal or 73" x 68" stretched flat. Contemporary cloths, cottons and synthetics

‘Spring-20 (Confined Chaos)’  2020.7  73” x 68”  Contemporary cloth, cotton, synthetics.      

Confusion reigns in the spring of 2020. 

Can watching videos of protest rallies and violent riots get interpreted as flowers on a woven quilt? 

Instead of peaceful flower beds framed by a white picket fence these flowers seem to clump randomly against lines of their own making and against the black unforgiving bars. Several different swatches of floral patterns intermix within a field of what used to be a subdued paisley pattern striped apart then rewoven.

On the alternate side, subdued deadly flowers quietly lay in wait. They seem to clump against the narrow borders. Does Covid-19 viruses float in the air like these flowers? Keep your particulates to yourself and I will keep my breath to myself and we may survive. 

Hatchtags, Social media, Zoom meetings, Drone cameras, Cell phone videos. Information/disinformation. So much social history to learn, so much to unlearn. So much change. Confusion reigns. 

Monday, May 25, 2020

Art-In-Place 5/20 - 6/20. Holiday and weather permitting.

'Mardi Gras Beads Day/Night with floaters'.  61" x 69".  Covid-19 half price sale.  $400.00
20% goes to Arts for Illinois Relief Fund.    

Masks for Covid-19. Glad to be able to improvise and provide when needed. Update: passes Bill Nye's test.

a pandemic when no one knows who is infected; everyone should wear masks not to protect themselves but to protect others. If they did the same then everyone gets protected.

Friday, March 20, 2020

#53. 'Indian and Cowboys' (Route 66 With Curry) 2020.2 @ 53" x 75" stretched out. Indonesian batik, American fabric. Indonesian character is probably from a Wayang Kulit Hindu epic like the Ramayana. Western prints are of stereotypical "cowboys and indians".


53" x 50" gathered
Driving in the midwest I see curry take out lunches at gas stations and S.E. Asians welcoming me into their motels. People have come to set up home in the midwest just like me. I imagine dreams of a young Indian boy might include one of the many Hindu pantheons along with Cowboys and Indians he might see on late night t.v. Stories/legends might mix/swirl in his head. 

Thursday, January 2, 2020

#52. 'Ming Ho / Munn Haw (Beatrice)'. 77" x 77". Chinese brush painting, Japanese folklore, and Hawaiian flora designs. I knew mom as 'Beatrice' all my life. She was in her 90's when I took her to get a state ID. Only then did I find she was born 'Munn Haw' (Cantonese) and changed her name to 'Ming Ho' (Mandarin) when she married. In elementary school she was told to go home and come back with an English name. (1920's Territory of Hawaii.) NFS

It was serendipity to return from seeing Li Huayi paintings at the Honolulu Art Museum and find among my hoard of fabrics a cloth decorated with prints of Chinese brush paintings. How it got to me in the mid-west I haven't a clue. It was printed in Honolulu too. 

'Munn Haw' (Cantonese), 'Ming Ho' (Mandarin) each translate to 'Day & Night' or 'Sun & Moon', poetically meaning 'Bright'. Add one more character for 'River' and it refers to the Milky Way. 

Ming Ho

Munn Haw

                          I thought I knew Mom’s name. 

Mom and Dad, (with dementia), no longer had current driver licenses and needed State IDs. I thought we might have trouble taking them to apply for Dad's, but it was Mom who had difficulties. The name on her social security card didn’t match her old drivers license, or her birth certificate. The clerk sent us to get her marriage certificate from another office, perhaps that would help, but that brought into play a third name! Apparently, when she started school in the 1920’s it meant being told to come back with an English name. The teachers (haoles/caucasians) couldn't handle all these "foreign" names. Mom was given a Cantonese name of 'Munn Haw' which is recorded on her birth certificate in 1918. She changed her name to ‘Ming Ho’ when she got married. (Why mom, why?! Because it's prettier...) But everyone knows her as Beatrice, her English school girl name. The trick was to come up with an ID that would match her signature of all these years and satisfy all these documents.  

Everyone has layers of identity. Mom could dress up in a silky red cheong sam for a night out and be Ming Ho, while also be Beatrice in a floral Hawaiian print dress as a Kindergarten teacher. Ming Ho / Munn Haw / Beatrice...she will always be Mom to me. 

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

#51. 'Mauna Kea / Powehi' 51" x 46" 2019.8 Tutuvi prints and Hawaiian cloth NFS

During the blocking of TMT ( a proposed new telescope) on Mauna Kea, Hawaii; I wove this two sided piece. I considered changing the name to 'Gran Canaria / Black Hole'. Gran Canaria is Spain's Canary Island, the second place option for the telescope. But no, this piece is about Mauna Kea. Ironically wild fires burn on the Canary Island this summer, while emotional fires burn in Hawaii.

What would Queen Liliuokalani do? Her islands were stolen in 1893. This is very much a part of the protest.

Added 2020:  

I left my home in Hawaii a long time ago. Because of the pandemic it is now a risk to travel back to visit family and friends. This new reality has me confronting the issue: is my “home” a specific geographical spot on earth? Do I identify with my past community if I am not currently living in that community? I was born and raised in Honolulu, do I still consider Hawaii my home?

I wove ‘Mauna Kea/Powehi’ during a time of political and spiritual turmoil. Some Hawaiians regard Mauna Kea as their original spiritual home. Scientists want to build a telescope on the mount to find a powehi, i.e. a black hole. The name ’Powehi’ comes from a Hawaiian origin chant meaning “an embellished dark source of unending creation”. Hawaiian protestors want to save their mountain they consider home. Scientist want to search for a black hole that all matter is pulled through; a portal perhaps leading to our ultimate home. 

One definition of ‘home’ is where you go to replenish yourself. ‘Home' is not only a place but a state of mind.

'Axis Mundi'

Saturday, July 27, 2019

#50. 'Powehi / Rainbow' 84" x 68" Made of hawaiian and western materials. Started 4/2019 - Finished 7/2019. Read links to find out more. 1,000.

'Kumulipo', a Hawaiian origin chant.

"The current of time when the earth turned hot around
The current of time when the firmament turned counter
The current of time when the sun stood beshadowed
To illuminate the moon
The time of the night of the Pleiades
The ocean-floor slime is what gave origin to earth
The origin of the dark was dark
The origin of the night was night
The deep darkness, the deep darkness
The darkness of the day, the darkness of the night
Night only indeed!..."

Copied from 'Chanting the Universe' by John Charlot, 1983.