I snapped my June Mandala last November while waiting for a final interview for one of the six artist-in-residence openings at Recology San Francisco in the coming year. My heart was beating a mile a minute. I had 15 minutes to pitch my project to a room full of arts professionals…
I want to explore the experience of “making do” through the model of improvisational patchwork. My premise is that in a culture where we have an abundance of choice, we are actually deprived of the simplicity of choice.
Making do with what we have at hand ignites the imagination. When we have less to choose from, when we intentionally limit our choices, we are freed from being overwhelmed, and are able to find flow. Which is rejuvenating! Making do with what comes our way, requires that we excercise our ingenuity in order to satisfy ourselves. This accomplishment is a state of gratitude, a rhythm of attention, that feeds the spirit and restores the soul.
The Recology AIR Program in San Francisco, has been around for 25+ years, and it is a crucible for making do. Two artists at a time are each given a studio for four months and full access to the PDRA (public disposal and recycle area) to scavenge materials for making their art.
At the end of the four months there is a public exhibition of finished work, made with 99% with materials from the dump. So if you are a painter, you have to scavenge surfaces, and canvas, and paints and even basic tools like brushes and painting utensils, to make your paintings. Wouldn’t this make a great reality tv show!
I will be improvising a series of quilts and sculptures from clothing and other materials during my Recology residency, but that’s not all. Equally important I will be on a four month quest to explore the nature of making do, by writing/blogging in depth about my surprises and discoveries both internal and external. I will be posting on IG about my finds, how they inspire me, and what I make out of them.
I started the residency on June 1. My final exhibition will be September 23-24 & 27. My time of Making Do at the dump begins!