Updated: Feb 12, 2019
In the previous post, I shared the text that accompanied the kites that I made for the Subverting Craft show. The goal of that was to create a sort of "how-to" in regards to making/subverting a craft of our choosing. The point of that post was two-fold first it was to vent my frustrations with my creative process (or current lack thereof) and it was also meant to be tongue-in-cheek and in no way instructional. Subversion!
The selection of the kite wasn't as fly-by-night as I made it seem. The discovery of the resources I was using was accidental but as with any of my fiber works a great deal of research was involved. Ultimately the kite was chosen over the kaleidoscope because of the kites historical significance* and how I felt that connected with the current political climate. In that regard, I will be sharing some of my sketches that accompanied this project. Although the final results are intuitive and were the response of some very visceral reactions to the current political climate the intention was deliberate.
*I want to acknowledge that I am in no way an expert on the history of kites and the few resources I could find seemed to reference each other. If someone with historical knowledge manages to find this and can add or change information to make it more accurate I'm willing to listen and amend accordingly.
Kites are thought to have developed around 2000-3000 years ago in and around China and were more closely associated with war than entertainment. They have been used as signals to herald in good news or convey clandestine messages, as a tool to infiltrate, a way to cast doubt when disguised as an ill omen, and have been manned for reconnaissance. Learning about the persistent history of kites during war time made me consider those uses and if current protesters were to use kites what might they say.
I used the sketch book to make quick notes on the construction of kites and some free-association thoughts on kites in general as well as arts purpose in activism. I generally don't do very much sketching in regards to the pieces themselves, I prefer this part of the process to be more organic than organized. However I am sharing the one sketch I did because it was a jumping off point for the first kite and informed the other two.
The photographs of the kites were taken pre-installation. Proper pictures will be added to a gallery after they are taken.
This piece was the first of the series and underwent quite a few alterations before settling on it's final design. Initially it looked very much like the sketch. Parts of it have been flipped inside out and the back was originally the front. These changes pushed the wound deep withing the cavity of the kite exposing the wound and the bones of the kite.
This piece was a direct response to the news of the gutting of the ACA. Previously my work had focused on the importance of healing however that has become an emotional impossibility. It is impossible to heal without access to proper care and so this wound remains open and raw.
The Arrival was made to resemble the traditional Kimono shape and then torn and distressed. The Sode Kite it was based on was meant to ensure the arrival of a healthy baby boy into the world. Under normal circumstances, this would be a blessing, however sometimes what one hopes is a blessing turns out to be an unmitigated disaster.
“Our deepest wounds surround our greatest gifts.” ― Ken Page
The final piece for this show is Old Wounds. This piece is an acknowledgment of all of those who have fought for our rights. The long tails converge into one solid piece which forms the skin of the kite, this represents the many, many women who have fought and sacrificed their lives not only for their rights but for our rights as well. This kite is worn and has been mended using old lace, as both tatting and mending were typically a woman's work. The skin is marred, ripped, and in constant need of repair and sits waiting for the next generation to take up the mantel.