Creel Basket Woman
7” X 5” X 6”
‘Creel Basket Woman’ was created at a fibre art retreat. Only in retrospect did I realize how soul weary and downhearted I was at the time. Working on this piece was my way of coping with my growing awareness of the depth of a mental health disorder for one of my adult children.
She is different from anything I have created before or since. She is faceless. Everything about her is open and empty and her structure/bones are exposed. I imagine her sitting at the bottom of a deep ocean waiting to catch sea creatures in her basket. She IS the basket and she is weighted down with stones much like a creel basket or lobster trap needs to be. She sits on a prayer mat and she waits.
I came to realize I had created a companion piece, a doll to hold my ache as I came to terms with my adult son’s pain and struggles and the ripple effect on the whole family. It is her primordial nature, her ability to breathe underwater, and to wait endlessly that has comforted me.
Wee Art Warrior
7” X 6” X 2”
Sometimes being an artist and an art teacher is a thankless job. Even as I start the last third of my life I occasionally have family and friends still suggesting I get ‘a real job’. It was after one of these frustrating, fruitless conversations that ‘Wee Art Warrior’ sprang out of nowhere. Lots of remnants from my art table worked their way into Wee; a piece of material from a trip to the Eric Carle museum in MA makes up her body. A felted purple ball from a felt making workshop is her enraged head. Silk yarn spouts out of her heard like a fountain, and in one hand is the tip of a paint brush for a sword and in the other a palette art pin for a shield. Then sewn all over her are bits of dried acrylic colours. She’s a feisty little thing and I always chuckle when I see her.
8” X 4” X 4”
“Woven-In Woman” is a companion piece to an earlier work called ‘Creel Basket Woman’ and, like her, is a response piece to being mother to an adult child coping with a mental disorder.
She is a survivor. Her signs of grief and pain are subtle; her hair is chopped short and her centre is wide open, yet protected by a piece of dichroic glass that was forged at high temperatures to allow for the fusing to take place. I too feel as if I’ve been ‘through the fire’ and came out stronger for the experience. Her basket is connected to her and inside is a tumbled beach stone with one word beneath it, ‘amaze’. It is her stone in her basket that keeps her grounded, otherwise she would tumble.
It has been and continues to be a bewildering, maze like experience and strangely wonder-filled. I’m amazed by my son’s courage in dealing with his disorder. I’m also amazed at my growth through the experience and that is reflected in all her greenery and bits of pink here and there. She is at peace.