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Friday, 25 November 2022

Putting It All Together

I can't believe it's nearly the end of November. I've been busy with work and commissions and orders and of course, the flu and trying to take care of myself and others while being mindful of bills, rent, deadlines, and such adult responsibilities.

Generally though, it's been one of those strange years where I feel like I've accomplished little. Yet, when I add it all up, I can hardly get over how much I've done. Life seems to be like that. It teaches me self forgiveness, patience and gratitude. While ill last month, I managed to write up some grant applications. It's akin to strategically dropping seeds before the snow sets in. I'll find out next year if any of them produce results. If I'm SUPER lucky, that's perfect. They all compliment each other like puzzle pieces. And if not, there's a seed of the idea planted in my heart now.


I've been thinking a lot about art, purpose, the personal/political, motherhood, the experience of being female on this earth, and the earth itself, plants, life, and how it all works together or doesn't work together. Usually, I'm pretty straightforward, down to earth, in-your-face, tell it like it is. However, when I listen to some women artists talk about their art and, more specifically, WHY they do their art, I find it SO invigorating.

And my super explosive artist's statement is, "I stitch prairies."

I mean, come on. There's got to be more to it than that. WHY do I? WHY is it so important to me? Why do I get withdrawal when I leave the prairie? Why does the local plant life completely recharge me to the point that I feel WHOLE and overflowing past the brim that art literally overflows. What is that about? What does that natural world give me? How does it work that way? And why don't we give more to the natural world in return? Ah.. there's a problem.

I admit, I've never been a conscious environmentalist. But I'm really thinking and contemplating this in terms of my art, and the importance and unmoving sacredness of what informs my work. It's so full of spirit. I HAVE to show it off in fibre. I feel compelled to make you look. Is that me though? Or is that the plants using artists like me to speak, HEY! We are HERE. We are significant.

It's late. I have a bit of a fever with this flu. No, I'm not high or on any cough syrup. Ha! I'm just catching you up on some insights I've had through my journaling over the past couple summers, trying to make more sense of the importance of why I do what I do, past the, "woah! how long does it take to stitch that!?" which is the only question I have ever had over the course of thirteen years as a dedicated artist.

By the way, I have never answered that question when I am asked. I don't know how long, I don't time it. Honestly, timing has nothing to do with the art or the story behind the moment in time or the composition or the passion for the subject matter.

And so, I suppose, after all these years, I started to ask myself the questions that no one else has ever asked of me about my work. I think I got the idea after listening to songwriters and other visual artists being critically reviewed or interviewed in podcasts and biographies. There were such powerful stories behind the work. 

I want to put more of my story into my work, somehow. I have SO many stories. Let me tell ya! I'm full of it! Some way I will work it out. This next year will be a fascinating one! I can't wait to see the new prairie creations that are germinating. It's going to be BEAUTIFUL!!

thanks for listening!
~Monika

1 comment:

Lin said...

Always a pleasure to listen Monika - thanks for talking to us. xx

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