by Stacey Piwinski
With every ending comes a new beginning and it is never too late to begin again. A great thought for the start of a new year. It's been quite some time since I have written a blog post and today is the day for an update.
A little less than a year ago, March 2018, the flannel tapestry series began while in residence at The Vermont Studio Center (see my personal blog post http://staceypiwinskifineart.blogspot.com/2018/04/vermont-studio-center-march-2018.html ). Since then I have created two more large tapestries and I am currently working on the another.
Refuge was the first of the flannel tapestries made solely by my own hands, where the first three tapestries were made working with many volunteers. The other pieces were formed by my responses to people's participation. Conversations and energies shared guided the works. Refuge was a conversation with myself that slowly accumulated over five months. To me this piece feels connected, un-rushed, and strong, landing right where it is meant to be.
Upon completion, the tapestry was shown in the exhibition, Shelter, at MCLA's Gallery 51 and curated by Arthur De Bow.
“The word refuge means a place of shelter….but I am not talking about the basic physical shelter that every human being needs and deserves. I’m talking about the kind of shelter that lets you get in touch with your deepest self. Refuge should help calm, should help you feel safe and protected, can even restore your soul. A true space of refuge can also function as a kind of cocoon, where you retreat to do the sort of self-examination that leads to inner change. It can give you both rest and the wherewithal to act from strength.” Sally Kempton
I was curious how my process would change from working with others and producing three large tapestries within a one month long residency to working alone in my studio. The process was slower, as to be expected, but the piece still resonated with energy of what lies beneath the surface. I was honestly not sure how this was going to work out...
So, I began another piece, working on my own off of my studio wall. Although I was not meditating, I was doing a repetitive process that was very meditative. I also found myself listening to podcasts on meditation most of the time while working on these pieces, specifically Dan Harris's 10% Happier podcasts. It became part of my studio routine to listen to this podcast while working on a flannel tapestry. In one sitting, I would work for one or two hours, which meant one or two podcasts. This next piece came about a little faster than the first. Within three months time I had completed Flannel Tapestry #5, Awareness of Awareness.
I am currently working on the next tapestry in my studio right now. But, I do miss working with others. In just a few weeks on Saturday, January 26th, I will be teaching a workshop titled, Woven Within at Creative Spirit in Marblehead, MA. From 10am to 12:30, you can spend half of your day working warm, cozy and colorful yarns. Each participant will learn to weave their own circular weaving, starting at the center and radiating out to one another. A short guided meditation will allow us to go within. A relaxing work time will allow us to slow down, work with our hands and connect to one another. Space is limited, so please sign up at https://www.creativespiritma.com/wovenwithin
Thank you to my yoga buddies Nadine, Tracy and Amy for trying out the workshop in advance and making these lovely circular weavings with me.