Yesterday, it was just me and the girls at the Currier Museum of Art in Manchester, NH.
Aside from May 5th being Cinco de Mayo, it is also Children's Day in Japan. I've never been to Japan while it is being celebrated, but we learned while at the museum that children fly Cod Kites on this day, and our art project there was to make some of these kites. The girls had a great time coloring, cutting out, pasting their kites. My youngest even stayed still and calm long enough for me to make one for myself her!
I wish I had taken more photos than I did... and I actually wasn't certain of the photography policy of the museum, so was uncomfortable taking out my camera to shoot some of the exhibits. And, with three kids in tow (especially my inquisitive youngest who has properly found her walking legs) and no extra adult hands to help out, I didn't really have the space to photograph anyway.
Which is a bummer, because there was an installation exhibit there that totally floored me. Abigail Anne Newbold did an installation piece called Crafting Settlement which stopped me in my tracks and made me ponder and consider so much of what I'm passionate about. The museum's explanation of the show does a great job of explaining it at a high level, so rather than translating it, I'll quote it directly here:
Abigail Anne Newbold melds a mastery of traditional craft techniques with a modern design aesthetic to create thought-provoking installations centered on themes of domesticity, self-sufficiency, and artisanal production.
Given my own personal interest in self-sufficiency, unusual fascination with escaping from modern society, and my tendencies towards DIY, I appreciated so much about this installation piece. I was floored by some of the work she did... it may be easiest for me to list the items that stuck out to me (and this is given I was spending most of my time chasing a 15 month old and preventing her from walking into the tents that are part of the exhibit!):
- Hanging on the wall was a standard camping sleeping back, the zipper partially undone to expose a hand-quilted interior.
- Standing along the wall was an wooden antique chair, the basket-weave seat removed and replaced with a similarly woven neon para-cord seat.
- A cast-iron water pump attached to a neon fire-hose.
- A silver bike with a trailer attached, the trailer actually being a lightweight flatbed covered wagon contraption (I wasn't able to explore enough to find out if she made sure that all the stuff in the installation I saw was able to fit in that wagon, but if she did, that certainly would have been a nice touch)
- The interior of one of the tents was covered in hand-quilted and -pieced fabric
- Hiking boots placed along the wall had neon, obviously hand-knit socks sticking out of them (apropos for me of my recent fascination with getting some quality merino wool in neon colors).
Not only do I feel this speaks to people striving for a crafty and self-sufficient life-style - it also crossing that boundary between artwork and crafting that some feel are divided.
I hope I get myself back to the museum, sans children, for a closer look at the exhibit. Maybe on June 6th when the artist herself will be there!