Monday, March 1, 2010

Mukti: Freedom

In an interview on NPR with Melissa Block, photographer Helen Levitt echoed my feelings about trying to talk about my work. Ms. Levitt said "If it were easy to talk about, I'd be a writer." "Since I'm inarticulate, I express myself with images."

So I will start with an image of a piece I did in 2008 for the Textile Center of Minnesota's exhibit "Freedom: The Fiber of Our Nation" which ran from August-October that year. The piece is titled "Mukti" which is Sanskrit for the freedom that is experienced when we finally shed all of our attachments to the earthly life and are released from the cycle of suffering, birth and rebirth. I was partly inspired by time I spent in Sri Lanka and India, and by Hindu and Buddhist beliefs .

I sculpted the head, hands and feet of paperclay on a wire armature and covered the armature with batting and a hand stitched burlap "skin." I covered the paperclay with several layers of gesso, acrylic and oil paints and sealed it. A hand sewn fabric robe made from recycled blue jeans and wrappings on his legs of cotton scrim are adorned with a necklace made from white feathers and antique cut glass beads that were given to me when I was in Sri Lanka.