Thursday, August 7, 2014

Links to inspire

I have two finished projects to showcase but they will wait. Today it is all about a link fest - things I have read and seen in the last few days that have inspired or educated me, or both.

Read the Yarn Harlot's description of her experience on a charity bike ride from Toronto to Montreal. Her determination to complete what she started is admirable. But what I really liked was the fact that several of the commenters complimented Amanda and Pato for making the decision to take the bus on a difficult and rainy day. When I coach I teach that deciding to get off your bike to walk or accept a lift is extremely difficult. Once you have done it, though, it feels wonderful. That's not because your suffering is over but because you realize that you did what was right for you. It sounds like everyone in Stephanie Pearl-McPhee's family group had important experiences which will change the course of their lives.

Go here to see the routines performed by the top ten on So You Think you Can Dance last night. They were almost all wonderful - the competitors rose to another level when paired with more experienced partners. This routine, by former winner Chehon ( a ballet dancer) and competitor Jacquie (also trained in ballet), and choreographed by the talented Travis Wall, really resonated with me. I saw magic in the perfect combination of planning and control. The combination sounds like it would result in something dry and unattractive but instead we see compelling and seemingly effortless beauty.

And just for fun, from all star Twitch and competitor Jessica, choreographed by Napoleon and Tabitha. There is just as much planning and control here but it is easy to let the story divert us.

I have been poking around on the internet looking at large scale installations and went back to look at Ai Weiwei's work for the Unilever Series at the Tate Modern Museum in London. For the series artists are asked to produce site-specific pieces for the Turbine Hall at the museum. I was intrigued by Weiwei's concept the first time I saw it. A few years later it raises all sorts of issues for me: What kind of courage and determination does it take to conceive and execute something like this? How does one go about engaging the imagination and work of enough people to make it happen?

I have installed a slideshow in the sidebar on the right side of this page. It shows 12x12 inch works of fibre or quilt art which have been donated to Studio Art Quilt Associates. They will be sold in a reverse auction beginning on September 15. The group of artworks contains pieces by acknowledged masters as well as quilts submitted by much less experienced artists. It is those latter people who inspire me. It is both a generous and courageous gesture to submit a piece and then watch to see if it sells at a high price, at a lower price, at an even lower price or not at all. At the SAQA conference I spoke to someone whose donation last year didn't sell and was returned to her. To add further insult she had to pay duty on the package. To her credit she has continued to donate pieces to SAQA. In fact, I bought one at an auction in May. I will post a picture after I receive permission from her to use the image.

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