GreenasSky A gambol in the goodies by Sloan Nota

Diane Savona Sees Beyond Cloth

Diane Savona — her textile work wows me with its ingenuity, personal vision, its way of making more than you’d expect of little.  A thinker.

All images are from her website, http://www.dianesavonaart.com/

Diane Savona's, Structurally Unsound nearly-human textile art.

Diane Savona, Structurally Unsound. Textiles and everyday objects.

Highbrow textile art, Diane Savona

Overgrown Fossil by Diane Savona. Found/scavanged textiles, thread.

Highbrow textie art, Diane Savona

Diane Savona, found or salvaged textiles, thread

Highbrow textile art, Diane Savona

This Too Shall Pass by Diane Savona. Found textiles and bits of mechanical objects.

Diane Savona, Kiosk, textile art that includes text.

Diane Savona, Kiosk, textile art that includes text.

Some Savona quotes:

How do we learn history? Textbooks give us dates and leaders; students memorize facts for the test, but few people have a deep understanding of how our ancestors lived.

As a child I felt that lessons of wars and nations had little bearing on my family history. It was like studying weather patterns, gusting far above, knowing that my peasant grandparents had survived in thatched huts in Poland. What was their story? My art is created with that question in mind.

The objects I use are collected at my equivalent of archaeological digs: garage and estate sales. In my Passaic neighborhood, there are still large numbers of first and second generation immigrants from Eastern Europe. At these sales I hear the language and find the tools of my grandparents. There, I unearth items that were once commonly used in the domestic sphere – pincushions, darning eggs, crochet hooks – but are now almost extinct. I exhume forgotten embroidery and mending, and present them as petrified specimens.

My textile works are art and archaeology. They are the stories of past generations. By deconstructing past artifacts and preserving them in an archaeological presentation, I hope to change viewer perception of our textile heritage.

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This Too Shall Pass
Ancient knowledge was preserved on clay tablets. As we progress from punched cards to zip drives, what information will be readable to future generations? Like rotary phones and typewriters (once cutting-edge communication) all equipment becomes obsolete.  By disassembling technological devices and sewing the parts tightly under vintage cloth, I am ‘fossilizing’ them – preserving their forms, not in the permanence of clay or stone, but in relatively fragile textiles.

This Too Shall Pass is a series of hundreds of 6” tiles, each mounted on industrial felt.

See plenty more of Savona’s work on her website http://www.dianesavonaart.com/

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A note to my readers: This represents a radical rethink of my blog so I can spend less time formatting and more time making my own art. Hope you’ll enjoy seeing the increased number of artists appearing here.

Categories contemporary art, history, new media, words, literature | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Ceramics, Drifting Clouds

I was basking on a bench today while small clouds drifted slow as sun-softened cows across the sky.

Because today I saw the clouds, the blue, I rejoice.  After my last blogpost, April 16, I went through a series of weeks of eye disease. Not much I need to say about the eyes, the treatments — except this.  My vision improved at a crawl but then I began to read big expanded screen text. Literacy returning.

It’s like a powerful other sense — vision, hearing, then we absorb the world using human symbolic attunedness . Mere squiggles on a page can transmit a powerful lot of information.  Far as we know no other creatures — no matter how advanced their brains — enjoy this feedback loop.

We have hands thus we could make tick-marks on bones and read the meaning later on. Moon phases, months. As if language evolved our brains as we evolved language: papyrus, Gutenberg, email.  Whether humans evolve along with the Internet remains to be seen.

What I want to say today is that at some point I could read words on a page again. The rush of joy amazed me. Our online writing favors abbreviated syntax, undercooked ideas. A good book offers vastly more and to find I could again inhabit literature was indescribable relief.

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So I imagined those cloud bovines moseying a beaten path in the cerulean.  It’s language which reminds me cows each have four stomachs. Do they experience indigestion in stomach number 3 differently than a tummy ache in stomach number 1? Our kindred Earth-born lifeforms live in realities we only begin to understand.  When my vision improved I finished Frans de Waal’s Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are?  It rearranged some of my worldview — I recommend it. It won’t detail as many animal behaviors as it will lay out for you human prejudices still garbling the field of animal behavioralism.  Get over the notion that humans are qualitatively different than other Earth-based zoology.  We aren’t the apex, as medieval thinkers believed.  We are Family.

De Waal happily pounds a stake into the cold heart of Skinner’s behaviorism. He goes on to grind other beliefs in human anointed-ness between millstones. Elephant trunks sense olfactory information well beyond our human capacities,  Yet we’ve no notion of how they manipulate that information in their big brains. None. Because we’re so darn pleased with us.

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 This blog aptly continues its mission by showcasing the insightful animal ceramicist Nichola Theakston. I find compassion and fellow-feeling in her work.

The following examples are all from her website, nicholatheakstonceramics.co.uk

Nicola Theakston, 'Red Capped Mangabey' Coil construction in terracotta. 2015. SOLD.

Nicola Theakston, ‘Red Capped Mangabey’
Coil construction in terracotta. 2015.

 

Nicola Theakston, Jousting Hares, ceramic. 2014. Art edition of 24

Nicola Theakston, Jousting Hares, ceramic. 2014. Art edition of 24

Nicola Theakston, 'Little Classical Rhino'. Ltd edition 40. Stoneware. 34cm l x 22cm. Limited Availability.

Nicola Theakston, ‘Little Classical Rhino’. Ltd edition 40. Stoneware. 34cm l x 22cm. Limited Availability.

Nicola Theakston, Silverback, ceramic

Nicola Theakston, Silverback, ceramic

Categories uncategorized | Leave a comment

An Eyeful

Found on Pinterest,, redieed credited gerardcollas.hautetfort.com Visit.

Found on Pinterest,, redieed credited gerardcollas.hautetfort.com
Visit.

Just because I love this.

Dear readers –

Some of you know that I carry two diseases of the retinas.  Usually I can move quite briskly through the day but not in the past few weeks.  For a while I couldn’t read even the biggest font — yesterday I began piecing together words in a magazine article. It’s great!

So please bear with me as I make my way back into a Green As Sky world. Green as grass, green as spring, green as summer. Home free.

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New situation, you gain insights. My favorite is that when an artist can’t connect to the world of printed words she can grab a National Geographic of any vintage, turn it upside down and see on the visuals as abstract compositions. Color masses. distribution of tones. I find I have (at least) two visual minds. One keeps me from stubbing my toe in a world full of chairs, the second sees impractically, in the terms my art has led me to weight what I sight.  [riTcky wording used for emphasis.]

I think of Mondrian here. How while painting trees he begann to seize on the grid-like way branches interlaced.  Is this how a muse works? In the world we’re so carefully and carelessly taught how to see, we notice another aspect that tickles our attention. We play with this, maybe sketch it on napkins, maybe try imposing mental right angles on the limbs of a peach tree.  Your path opens up, you take it.

Circling back to us being taught how to see. In an industrial landscape — oil derricks, electrical poles — I’d always felt affronted.  One day I worked to view the scene as an engaging composition. And it was there. Fell into place, boom boom boom, freed from political blinders. Which rid me of feeling.bad.

Must stop for here. The words flow freely but the eyes are running in the wrong shoes.

Categories art | Tagged | 2 Comments

Art or Heartbreak of Tuesday

I’ve just received a heart-rending book of photographs.  It’s by Nick Brandt who has photographed and worked tirelessly with his Big Life Foundation with the wild elephants, lions and other dramatic fauna of Africa.  Inherit the Dust  positions examples of his righteous animal photography in views of African locations suffering Anthropocene conditions now.

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Above, we see the beloved matriarch Qumquat where she and her generations of family were slaughtered for their tusks.  See what the land of Africa is becoming.

RAILWAY LINE WITH LIONESS

Above, the lioness and the fate of her territory.

QUARRY WITH LION

Above, her her mate with what the land becomes.

QUARRY WITH GIRAFFE

The long necks.

ALLEYWAY WITH CHIMPANZEE

Above, the close relatives of those who maul the land.

If you follow the fates of Africa’s big life and lands you will experience these contrasts in your vitals.  Something precious is being lost for something that bodes ill for humankind.  These scenes recall the devastation left by World War II — but combatants have changed radically and the odds are harsh.

Nick Brandt’s Inherit the Dust shows us issues we’ll soon not be able to ignore.

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For moving contrasts see Brandt’s earlier books as On This Earth, A Shadow Falls and Across the Ravaged Land.

All images via ufunk, copyright Nick Brandt.

Categories Animals in Art, contemporary art, contemporary society, Gaea, science, nature | Tagged , , | Leave a comment
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