papers, birch bark, thread, string, felt, beads, wire, 31 x 22.
This artwork is made with the birch bark that I found during my life saving walks in the woods behind my house. To use it, I peel it down as thin as possible and then glue it to abaca paper, so that I can sew the wood together without the bark crumbling.
My dearest felter friend Mary Kirk, whom I met in the Great Western Studios in the early 2000’s, used to teach my children to make felt. She also used to do classes with we grownups. These flowers are cut out of the first piece of felt that I ever made. As a rectangle, it hung on my studio wall for 10 years, waiting until the time was right, to be incarnated into another existence.
These two materials: wood and felt are two of first basic building blocks for our species. I like to think of this artwork as a contemporary take on the primordial. The name of this artwork “Wild Happenings” refers to a couple of things. The style reminds me of Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are. Maybe one of the materials is domesticated, (wool) but they both feel wild to me. Also, when I am in nature, looking at whatever catches my fancy, I never know what is going to turn up, nor do I know what is going to happen in my studio, as was demonstrated with the mergence of birch and flowery pieces of felt. Max also didn’t know that his room would turn into a jungle. These are Wild Happenings.