This grad-school piece above was a ‘first draft’ attempt to express some degree of my lifelong rage at misogyny and the males who perpetuate it. When I presented it to my class, four young-ish men, the response was muted (these guys generally did not acknowledge the facts of sexism and they practically rejected the existence of ageism), but two of them did criticize my choice of purses. I had dug around in my own stuff and had rooted around a couple of thrift stores to find an array that suggested women of different ages, styles and incomes. These classmates told me with straight faces that the purses weren’t expensive or stylish enough, that they weren’t adequate; I could tell from their expressions that they were offended by the low-end items. In other words, these young men with limited experience in life and no experience as women, concluded my piece did not work because my materials were not expensive and designer-made, not because they did not communicate my intent. The instructor did not challenge my classmates; he pointed out a couple of confusing aspects of the piece, then hurried along, clearly not wishing to spend time talking about the world women exist in. It was a lost opportunity for all of us, I think.
So, this is what I was paying for, this is what ‘the academy’ allowed, rewarded and perpetuated. This was a few years ago; I look at today’s news and wonder how much has changed…
These are from a small collection of experiments that I’ve had draped around my studio/living room for a couple of years now. I vow to continue work on them this month, at least; I can’t quite bring myself to make a resolution to finish. ha. I really like the direction they’re going, but I can ruin them with the wrong next move. That’s probably kept me from resolving the design these last couple of years. Okay, so what–it’s just art, I’ll beast it and whatever the result, I’ll have learned something. Rock on, 2020!!!
To celebrate the new start presented by the new year, I indulged a whim and bought a big bag of Meyer lemons–a rare treat! I took half of them to try something new: preserved lemons. I halved a recipe from the New York Times, but the recipe seems fairly standard. I may have put in too much salt, but as with so many things, time will tell…
There is a wonderful interview, by David Marchese, with Frances Moore Lappé in the The New York Times that is informative, thought-provoking and shares with us just the kind of attitude that we need to make the (human) world a better and more livable place. Her work is part of what prompted me to become vegetarian decades ago and her ideas of effective political action on the individual level inspire me. Rock on, Citizen Moore Lappé!
“Participating in democracy is the essence of a good life.”
It’s the craft sale time of year again and I’m slowly doing my part: I’ve dug up some cover material I’d cut years ago, when I had access to some serious cutting tools, and pulled out some misprints that I think look good, despite their imperfections, and I’m putting some blank books together. I’m planning on a few coptic-stitch books and maybe a stab binding or two. We’ll see.
There have been so many good (and disturbing) articles about climate change in the last few days that I am going to list a few, even though Hapless Press is really about (my) art and what inspires it. There’s so much information out there that it can be overwhelming; here are a few pieces I got something out of:
This New York Times story follows some of the plastic we “recycle” to an area of Indonesia where it is burned to fuel the making of tofu. This is a profoundly disturbing account of the cost of our convenience. By Richard C. Paddock
This NYTimes article features an interactive map that will show you the level of vehicle emissions, from cars and freight, in metro areas across the US…it’s stunning. Not in a good way. For example, Oklahoma City emissions have risen 57% since 1990. Not good. By Nadja Popovich and Denise Lu
As Hapless Press demonstrates, I’m a fan of mass transit and this NYTimes article looks at some of the ways cities are trying to cut down on auto emissions, which account for almost a quarter of all green house gases (according to the article…). By Somini Sengupta and Nadja Popovich
This is pretty dispiriting–another article, this one from Mother Jones Magazine, about some of the true costs of our convenience. According to this article, 91% of plastics are never recycled. We try and we mean well, but it’s not working. Clearly, we have to change our behaviors. By Emily Holden and Oliver Milman
⇒But look! There’s progress! We can change things for the better:
This segment from the radio show/streaming show Here and Now tells us that our country’s train service is doing better! Train travel is going to be part of the answer for our future and it’s crucial to know about the changes so we can support them–and demand MORE!! By Jeremy Hobson and Allison Hagan
This is the unfinished final project from my first semester at woodworking school; the assignment was to make a box of some sort with hinges. My classmates made large boxes for storage–some of them turned out beautifully–but I had run out of wood so I made a series of boxes with various elements (different angles, finishes, cuts, hinges, etc…) to try to cover the things we’d learned over the semester using the scraps I still had and pieces I could scrounge from the trash bins.
I really did learn some new things doing this piece, which was a bit too ‘arty’ for the class, frankly. A picture of it, still unfinished, with the roof (beautiful wood!) is below. I really should finish it and take a few pix before I disassemble it and put lids on the boxes for actual use. (I don’t think the instructor understood my approach, but, whatevs…I got a lot of practice in, which was the point, I thought.)
Suddenly, a whole bunch of elk came walking by me as I was waiting for my ride at a parking lot. I tried to move as little as possible while digging out my camera and taking a couple of snaps… mid-October, Cherokee, NC, USA