Emily Dickinson

Taking Flight install

when my family and i first moved to the Boston area 3 years ago, my youngest daughter was finally old enough to go to preschool for a good portion of the day and i was feeling eager to put my energies into my art. i was in a new city, ready to explore what it had to offer me, but also to figure out what i had to offer it. 

i wasn't sure where the making of many many birds would take me, but i decided to go with it and hoped that something good would come of them. as with my previous installation 100 Cups Of Tea, i began to reuse stacks of my old manuscripts from my writing days.

"Taking Flight" began with Emily Dickinson's poem whose first line is: Hope is the thing with feathers-/ That perches in the soul-/And sings the tune without the words-/And never stops - at all -

those lines fed me when i often felt rather hopeless about finding my way on my journey. the birds began to symbolize for me my creative thoughts, trying to take flight. faltering, but hoping that one day they will take flight. i tried to capture the deeply satisfying feeling that would come over me whenever i see a flock of birds taking off into the sky. that hopefulness we all have as we embark on a new journey, changing course, opening ourselves to new experiences. over the years, the installation has come to mean many many things to me, but i think hope encompasses all those things for me.

so it was incredibly satisfying to see the birds go up yesterday at the Boston Center for the Arts. there were several hiccups during the install process and it took way longer than planned, but we did succeed. :) here is time lapse movie of the process. i'm sorry it is a little choppy, but we had to stop several times to fix some problem and figure out the next steps, etc. there were moments when i wasn't at all sure this would work! but it did. hope you enjoy:

here are some shots of the beautiful space that is the Cyclorama at the Boston Center for the Arts where the BCA Ball will take place on June 3, 2017. i hope to share more shots from the Ball when the lighting on the installation will be better/more interesting. but for now, these will have to do:

Taking Flight in VSCO's NY studio

first of all, thank you to all that came out to the South End over the weekend! it was lovely to see many of you. and welcome to those who are new here, who i met for the first time at Open Studios! i hope you will visit here often as this is where i primarily share about my work and process. for daily snippets though, i am mostly to be found on Instagram.

in process shot inside VSCO NY studio space

in process shot inside VSCO NY studio space

today, i want to share with you about a project that i did early last week in NYC. i was accepted by VSCO to one of their open studio sessions which meant that i could come into their beautiful NYC office and use their amazing studio space to take pictures of a personal project. i chose to take in my Taking Flight installation as i felt it was important to have really good photos of the installation to continue telling my story through that particular piece. here is one shot that came out of my time there:

Taking Flight

Taking Flight

you can now find the rest of my shots on my portfolio page.

i worried about the white background as my birds are mostly white, but having taken the shots, i can now say that the whiteness adds to the ethereal quality of the installation. and the birds really do look like they are taking off! :)

this installation began in a deep place of emotion and movement. i'm still figuring out why i am so obsessed with these birds. part of it is, no one bird looks the same because i've made each of them by hand, and the installation never looks the same. i've taken shots of these in my studio with a black background and they look very different from how they look here. and the shape of them as a whole changes depending on how i have hung them up. there is something i love about that.

thank you to VSCO for the amazing opportunity! i learned so much about lighting and photo taking - loved it!

i would love to hear your thoughts on these!

Happy Thanksgiving and some thoughts for the holiday season

Happy Thanksgiving, friends!! i'm sure many of you are travelling to visit families or getting your homes ready for visiting families.  we are staying put this year and getting together with some friends.  i won't be cooking the turkey!! mixed feelings there, since i enjoy eating turkey and sort of like the leftovers, but it's also a treat to eat someone else's cooking. :)

there have been so many changes and transitions, i feel like i've been running to keep up.  i'm looking forward to this long weekend to relax and enjoy some time with my family.  i am thankful for our new life here in MA.  i am thankful for all my new friends here and my friends who keep up with me here on the blog and facebook.

i want to share with you a snapshot of a big project i've been busy working on.  i'm not sure when it will be completed, but i have a feeling it will be a long term project:

and here is the poem that inspired it:

 

"Hope" is the thing with feathers -

That perches in the soul -

And sings the tune without the words -

And never stops - at all -

 

And sweetest - in the Gale - is heard -

And sore must be the storm -

That could abash the little Bird

That kept so many warm -

 

I've heard it in the chillest land -

And on the strangest Sea -

Yet, never, in Extremity,

It asked a crumb - of Me.

 

Emily Dickinson

 

i've quoted this poem in a previous post, but it has been meaningful to me again lately.  the installation i am working on is partly inspired by it, along with this mixed media piece:

 

i've been thinking a lot about hope, especially as we head into the holiday season.  as we celebrate thanksgiving in the US, we are naturally encouraged to think about what we are thankful for and that always leads me to "hope."  i associate being thankful with looking back on the past and seeing all the goodness we have to be thankful for.  "hope" is that same thankful attitude, except we are looking forward into the future, into the unknown, the things that haven't happened yet.  it is the song the bird sings even in the storm.

i tend to be rather pessimistic about my future, but lately, i've been hearing that bird's song even "on the strangest Sea."

with that, i'd like to share that i've opened up a sort of holiday shop through Etsy where i will be offering some miniature original art (sized 6 x 4 inches) and some holiday garlands.  you can find the shop here.  you will also find an "etsy" tab at the top of my website which will send you directly to my shop MadeBySLK.  i would really really appreciate it if you would spread the word about my holiday shop.  the miniature artworks will make great gifts for art lovers and the star garlands will appeal to those with minimalist tastes for their holiday decor. thanks so much!!

here are some photos of the works in progress and the finished products:

 

have a wonderful rest of the week and weekend, friends. 

Good Friday

A Light exists in Spring

Not present on the Year

At any other period -

When March is scarcely here

 

A Color stands abroad

On Solitary Fields

That Science cannot overtake

But Human Nature feels.

 

It waits upon the Lawn,

It shows the furthest Tree

Upon the furthest Slope you know

It almost speaks to you.

 

Then as Horizons step

Or Noons report away

Without the Formula of sound

It passes and we stay -

 

A quality of loss

Affecting our Content

As Trade had suddenly encroached

Upon a Sacrament.

 

Emily Dickinson

 

Hope

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"Hope" is the thing with feathers -

That perches in the soul -

And sings the tune without the words -

And never stops - at all -

 

And sweetest - in the Gale - is heard -

And sore must be the storm -

That could abash the little Bird

That kept so many warm -

 

I've heard it in the chillest land -

And on the strangest Sea -

Yet, never, in Extremity,

It asked a crumb - of Me.

 

Emily Dickinson

 

i think this poem best captures what i've been feeling and thinking lately.

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it's been a while since you've heard about the teacup installation, but they are on the move again. :)  and this time, they are traveling all the way to NYC!!  it's kinda crazy - i will give you more details later, but right now, i'm packing them up in a box.