Monday, March 7, 2016

Textiles of the Banjara - Official Release

Neelavva, Banjara woman. Karnataka, November 2013.

This month is the official release for Textiles of the Banjara: Cloth and Culture of a Wandering Tribe. A book I co-authored with Charllotte Kwon.

Charllotte had been seeking embroiderers from this community since she first started visiting India. I joined her on her search and was able to apply my love of portraiture to the project. We photographed Neelavva in the fields where she and a small group of other women were working. It was the corn harvest. I carried a large piece of black cloth with me. Two assistants held the cloth behind her and I made the picture.

This photo, along with Banjara embroidery, will be included in an exhibition to take place at the Monte Clarke Gallery, September 22 - October 1, 2016.

Here is link to the Banjara promotional PDF.

Monday, February 29, 2016

Book forty-five

September 2009 - August 2010 
Hardcover  Notebook
Kept while in Vancouver, Roberts Creek and Savary Island, Canada
6" x 8.25" 80 pages. 

From book 45 ...

"We are moving over the ocean, an ocean that lives somewhere between blue and grey. We have filled tiny jars with water for painting. We have brought paint sets and dip pens and blank books. We have time. We have places. We have clouds that float. The waves. The trees. The sun. We may begin."

Friday, February 19, 2016

Alex Kwon

Alex Kwon, restorationist. January 17, 2016.

It was dark and cold but the rain had stopped. Alex drove the 64 Continental past us to the rear of the lot. It seemed to take an hour to pass, such a long car. I tried for a long time to light it, to show it, and in the end I just gave up and let the car be what it wanted to be. So much blackness. Like a hole in the night.

--  :  --

I have started to post on instagram. I'm hopeful that, in the same way sound artists in the '80s made "radio art" as a way to reinterpret broadcast media, there is a way to leverage instagram as a creative medium.

Here are two links to this post in that medium.

Darkness of the Edge of Town

Darkness of the Edge of Town No. 2

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Book Forty-Four

April - September 2009 
Softcover  Notebook
Kept while in Ethiopia and Salt Spring Island, Canada
5.5" x 5.5" 110 pages. 

We leave Vancouver in the late afternoon, waiting on the tarmac, reading the in-flight magazine. By the time we taxi and take-off, our minds are already in distant countries. Like a man who spends an afternoon intoxicated by the characters he meets in a novel, who becomes so involved in the plot of the book that he mistakes the fictional world for his own; in our minds we have already left. So that we are bewildered to look out of the windows of the departing plane and still see the coast mountains of our home.

Here is an index of books.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Wilfred Stanzer

Wilfred Stanzer, author, film maker, explorer, May 17, 2014.

Some people seem to live more than one life. Wilfred Stanzer might have rested after making six documentary films for Austrian and German Television. He was travelling among the nomads of Afghanistan and east Persia, he admired and studied their carpets, but when the situation in Afghanistan became too difficult he knew he had to leave.

He began travelling in Morocco. He had already written KORDI — Lives, Rugs, Flatweaves of the Kurds of Khorasan and Morocco was new and strange territory. Wilfred Stanzer's Moroccan explorations would become the foundation for his next book, Berber published in 1991. 

I was able to travel with Wilfred for a few days in 2014, an opportunity I owe to the intersection of Maiwa's interest in natural dyes and Wilfred's interest in reviving traditional artisan work in a small village in the Anti Atlas mountains. Wilfred is a remarkable man, at ease barefoot on the Saharan dunes or trekking through the hail when our mountain road was washed out by flash floods. He demonstrated the kind of facility for memory a man develops when he is constantly among new languages, patterns and cultures. When Wilfred left our small group he said goodbye to each individual with a comment tailored to who that person was, or what they had experienced.

This portrait was taken on the edge of the Sahara.

Friday, January 15, 2016

A letter is like ...

A letter is like the first page of a book. It is a leaf without a history, nothing preceding — no ancestors or parents. A letter is an orphan who makes his way alone, puts on his shoes in a quiet hallway when the other children are gone; the sun through the windows picking out motes of dust in the air, as if they were the stars in the heavens and like the stars the beautiful transit of their orbits traces a geometry without purpose or conclusion; a cipher we can never understand. A letter lives alone in the heart, like a man in a tenement, waiting for the right day to go out into the world. A letter is a solitary that dreams of the society of others, that keeps an ember of longing alive, that believes in a purpose. A letter is like the first page of a blank book and it carries with it the essence of promise. 

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Book Forty-Three

December 2008 - March 2009 
Hardcover  Notebook
Kept while in Vancouver, and Roberts Creek, Canada
5.5" x 8" 160 pages. 
Cover by Ajit Kumar Das

" and now he looks at everything as if it might be death.
Sleep, tiredness, illness ... everything."

and a poem by Michael Blumenthal

I believe there is no justice,
but that cottongrass and bunchberry
grow on the mountain. 
I believe that a scorpion's sting
will kill a man,
but that his wife will remarry. 
I believe that, the older we get,
the weaker the body,
but the stronger the soul. 
I believe that if you roll over at night
in an empty bed,
the air consoles you. 
I believe that no one is spared
the darkness,
and no one gets all of it. 
I believe we all drown eventually
in a sea of our making,
but that the land belongs to someone else. 
I believe in destiny.
And I believe in free will. 
I believe that, when all
the clocks break,
time goes on without them. 
And I believe that whatever
pulls us under,
will do so gently. 
so as not to disturb anyone,
so as not to interfere
with what we believe in.   

"What I Believe" by Michael Blumenthal, from Days We Would Rather Know.

Here is an index of journals.