Sunday, April 30, 2017

The Memory of Cloth: Junior Review

So I just recently had my Junior Review, ah! I gave a brief explanation in my last post, but I'll briefly explain again and go through the feedback I got from it as well. For a Junior Review, all juniors at my school have set dates to present our work to a panel of faculty and grad students. We get a certain amount of space in a gallery to set up and have about 10-15 minutes to present the work we are showing--reading our artist statement and explaining any pieces we want to elaborate on more than just showing them. Below, I typed up a basic transcript of what I presented and how I spoke about it.
I presented all my clothing along with my journal connected through ideas of memory, color, layering, and story telling.
This is a bit tricky to read, this is the transcript of it: 
"The Memory of Cloth

I am fascinated with the memory of clothing. Cloth remembers touch. It remembers nervous sweat, dirt stains, and tears. It remembers mends, moth holes, and the shape of the body. I think of clothing as a living document of experience, as a memory archive. I’m interested in clothing as re-workable, mobile, and changing. I examine the stories that clothing is telling, both weaving and wearing narratives.
Since I was eight years old, I’ve catalogued my own life through my journals, creating personal archives of those moments in my life. My overarching medium is layers. I collage literal cutouts in my journals, layer garments in my fashion, and always layer with emotion, with process and technique, with memories and stories.
Color can connect layered thought process and clarify the motion of emotion. I am constantly exploring the powers that individual colors hold and the power in creating one’s own colors.
I am a fashion designer, textile artist, journal-er, gatherer, archivist, and collage-er. I create thoroughly documented, organized chaos."

"Panelist: Do you think you would keep this arrangement in future shows or is this something you would change?
Me: This is more just to show an exploration of process and progress which is why I have so many tests of different prints and things that I’ve dyed and just kind of a way of documenting my process through these past years, so all the journals up here are from my time at CCA. I wasn’t thinking of this as exactly how I would exhibit these clothes in the future necessarily, but I do think that seeing my journals alongside them helps to understand my process which is important to me"

"Panelist 3: I would really like to talk more about the relationship between the narrative, memory , and a methodology of conserving memory. Everything that you do is so based in these methods of collection, curation, and ultimately you end up creating these various display pieces. You’re almost making wearable cabinets of curiosity and I think that theres..the way that you..this is a really good question to be considering: how do you display this work in a senior thesis project, how do you share what’s important with your audience as you go forward?There’s also all of your stuff is all about various levels of intimacy, so you need to be able to give us a way to explore these intimate little secrets that are tucked away inside."

"Panelist 1:  It’s almost like an assemblage or collage the way you’re showing it, and if you feel that the clothing, even though it has multiple pockets, and memory and subtleties of color dyeing would not be legible or readable without this background material. Because in some ways you’re telling a story in each one. It’s sort of like a giant page from your books. 
Me: I think I was totally trying to mirror a collage cause that’s a lot of what I’m thinking about, but I am interested in my whole idea is things that are wearable and the wearing of it and what the wearing does. Showing it being worn, or somehow…I’m just trying to imagine like if it can’t possibly be worn in a gallery space, what other ways can I show that it has been worn or show…yeah…
Panelist 3: Well, how do you break that barrier between audience and artist where…because traditionally we’re not allowed to touch, we’re not allowed to explore, we’re not allowed to leaf through the pages and I also tend to think of a lot of your clothing as books, you know, but there’s this fluid relationship between, like, just because it’s a coat doesn’t mean it can’t be a book too. But how do you get your audience to read your book? 
Me: Actually, when you were just talking, because I’m also interested in not making things seem so precious or untouchable, because obviously these things are supposed to be worn--and also I think that creates a kind of connection where you keep something forever and don’t just throw it away when you get a stain on it-- I would be completely open and interested in showing something in a gallery space where people can try on things and get the experience of actually wearing it. That is interesting I hadn’t thought of that before."
"Panelist 2: I see you have many pages open to receipts next to clothing, why were you highlighting that? 
Me: I don’t really see that as related to the clothing, I’m more thinking of it as a way telling…as a way of documenting and telling my own stories of my days through the things that I bought or…like, these are all the receipts from when I went on a trip to Canada, and this is a piece talking about publicly crying on the ferry after I left Canada because I was missing my friends. So these speak to each other."
"This is a zero waste garment design I did for one of my fashion classes and this is all made out of salvaged vintage fabrics....This is a natural color of this linen fabric , and this is a cotton that I dyed with clay (peach-y color). That holds memory to me, not just hand dyeing something and the way that it remembers the way that you hand dye it and the touch of that, but also because I dug the clay with my friend who’s a potter and she taught me how to dye, and now were really close friends  so it also holds this very unique memory for me in that way."
"This jacket (Grandma jacket), too, has the opportunity [to wear multiple ways]. You can either leave these personal narratives open, or you can close them by tying it closed if you want to keep them to yourself." 
"This box bag that I created is also from used materials: it’s from a box that was free at Creative Reuse because the lid was painted shut, so I broke off the lid and used the box to make this bag that you can use as a purse. This is one of my own textiles as well and it was just a test to see if the screen that I had exposed was working properly, so I only printed about three of four repeats, so it was a really small scrap of fabric, but I found this way to use it. (that I normally wouldn’t have had the opportunity to)"

Also on the wall, was this book I recently finished for my bookmaking class, called "Construct, Deconstruct, Reconstruct" in an edition of three with an artist test book. The basic idea of this book was to collect all the trash I created that day (seen in the collages on the left of a spread) and soak it all in hot water, turn it into paper pulp, and then into paper. This was both as a commentary on how much trash we create each day, but also as another story-telling tool: explaining what I did a particular day through trash, and having two unique documents of the day: both the trash collage, and then the paper created. As I was making the book I was thinking of the idea of constructing this collage, taking it apart and soaking it in water, and then remaking it into something new by pulling sheets of paper from it. The knots throughout the book represent that action of putting something together and then taking it apart.

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I wrote this post so long ago and hadn't transcribed the review process and I finally just did that because it's finals week and I'm avoiding working on this essay haha, but I'm very excited to share all of this! I think my review was very helpful for me to figure out where I want to be going next and I'm working on another clothing-book right now! You can tell panelist 3 really understands my work (that's because she's my advisor) and gave really helpful and great advice that pushed me to really think how I want to show my work in the future, and also how I want to be thinking about it now. Now that I've received the date for my senior show I'm really thinking about it!

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Thinking in Layers

So far, school is going really great. I have a very full schedule, but I'm enjoying it! Sometimes I feel I am more productive when I have such a full schedule because I literally have to be--every moment I have to being working or I won't finish. I've also been spending every minute of down time I have journaling which has been really great! I've finished a journal in just two months! I'm sharing some pages here and there's a video at the bottom,  as I always do when it's finished.
I think it was really good to take a breather from fashion--this semester I'm not taking any fashion courses. And I've actually been sketching so many ideas for clothes to make and feeling really excited about making at my own pace. The only problem is I have no time! I have so many ideas of things to make and no idea when I will get to make them. But nevertheless, I'm at least happy that I am inspired and excited to make things, and hopefully for my natural dyeing class I'll get the chance to make some clothes for my midterm! At least, I'm gonna try...
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This was all written weeks ago from when these photos were taken, now it's spring break! and I finally have had a chance to edit these photos and get this post ready! I just went through some midterms and my junior review, which is when you present your artwork to a panel of faculty and alumni (about 4 people) and read your artist statement/present your work and they give you feedback! It went really well, I think I got really helpful feedback! I'll post photos of the review/some of the feedback I got/what I spoke about in another post soon... For now, this was my February:
Right: Ellsworth Kelly Head With Beard, 1949
From Red Twig Farm: we visited with my Soil to Studio natural dyeing class
Right: print I saw at the Codex book fair about how to make pizza down to how to grow your own basil from seeds! I thought I had the guy's card/name, but I can't find it! If anyone knows, please let me know!


Thinking about the things I carry around
My favorite book artist at the fair: this super sweet couple. See their books/buy them here

Right: Ellsworth Kelly...I'm getting inspired by more plant drawings! I want to draw more. 
Right: another anticham book
Marimekko print behind two amazing friends 

Yellow from Maya Gulassa on Vimeo.

I'm working on some really exciting projects and thinking a lot about where I want to go in the future of the stuff I make and even specifically what I want to do for my senior show in two semesters...I feel really really inspired right now. It's such a good feeling!!!
Also, I've updated my artist website a decent amount. So you should all check it out here. Only the stuff that's most relevant to me right now is up, so most of it I've already posted on here before, but be sure to look at it anyway. You can see my more perfected artist statement and a few projects I've never posted here.
I hope to post again soon!
Maya

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Wear the Color and Become the Color

I am back at school! Woah! It simultaneously feels like I've been away forever, and like I've been away for a day. I also missed almost my whole first week from the flu, which held me back a bit and made my first few weeks a bit off, but I think I'm back on track finally. I was really worried about coming back because of all the artists block I was experiencing last semester--I really didn't want to spend a whole other semester making things that didn't feel right or exciting and I even toyed with the idea of taking a semester off because I felt in such a funk! I am happy to announce, however, that (knock on wood) I'm feeling a lot better and more excited about making things again! I have two studio classes this semester and they're both really different than the studios I've had the past few semesters--one Bookmaking/Papermaking class and one class on Natural Dyeing. Both are so new to me that I'm learning a lot already! And the new processes are really getting me out of my funk because they really tie in with the processes I already know and I'm very excited to combine them! I feel very inspired!
It's gonna be a hard semester. I'm taking six classes, which is more than I have ever taken in the past, so I'm hoping I won't get too burnt out and hoping I can stay on top of all the work I have to get done! Also, everything that's going on in the world is terrifying and anxiety depletes my energy really fast. But I'm trying to be more active; to fight in the ways I can. Be energized by the fight rather than feeling overwhelmed by what I can't do. 
Shaker gift drawing behind me: Polly Jane Reed, A Type of Mother Hannah's Pocket handkerchief, Drawn by Father James for Jane Blanchard, New Lebanon, N.Y., 1851. Ink and watercolor on paper; H. 14", W. 17". 
Stepped On: Double cloth pickup woven rug I made displayed in the Text-Tales show. Text on the rug reads "heart hurt" all weft yarns were dyed with makeup. 
My adorable grandma interacting with her jacket on display at the Text-Tales show. 

I'm wearing more bright colors and makeup lately to fuel my energy. Wear the color and become the color. I want to continue this energized feeling I have! I need to continue to work hard and be making things as much as I possibly can! Speaking of which, I need to get back to journaling. 
Maya