Archives for posts with tag: imagine a better future at Kuusiston Taidekartano Finland’

The Kuusisto Art Manor

Welcome to the Art Manor!

is a private art gallery situated in one of the oldest log houses in Finland. It is located on Kuusisto island in South Western Finland, 170 km west of Helsinki, 17 km from Turku. In 2013 the almost 300 year old log house was transformed into the Kuusisto Art Manor, a unique multi-sensory meeting place for contemporary art surrounded by an ancient fruit orchard. Dr. Merja Markkula is the visionary and enthusiastic artist/scientist who runs the gallery from May- September each year. Merja was our gracious and inspirational host for our visit to the Art Manor.

The group of silent embroiderers sewing for the “common cause” In the background, a phototransfer print by Julie Dixon

The scene was set by the appearance of a group of women artists, dressed in white lace tops and aprons, with lace hats and lace hankerchiefs over their mouths. They sat embroidering in complete silence, moving as a group from room to room.

Minnamarina Tammi -twining paper and paper mache

The gallery uses only natural light, which added a tranquil and ethereal quality to the experience. Other pieces that resonated with this quality, were  hand woven paper daisies and hand embroidery on an old sheet that belonged to the artist’s grandmother.

Presentation showing  lego cowboy representing the 19th century American doctrine of “Manifest Destiny”

Guernsey Boy Gun. The gun is wearing a protective guernsey sweater, designed to protect sailors at sea

Happy Mother’s Day. The gun is dressed in the typical pattern stitches of a baby matinee coat

On Sunday, September 2nd, 2018

I presented my talk about art and violence , creating art as a way to transform objects of fear and violence into knitted objects that reflect cultural values of caring, commitment and support. It was a great honor to present my artwork and have the opportunity to give a presentation at the Art Manor. Everyone spoke perfect english, and in kindness and consideration for their english-speaking guests, the following two talks were presented in english too. Many thanks to everyone who came to the  presentation, including my husband, my sister Marianne and her husband Marc. I was so impressed by the hospitality, kindness and creativity of all the Finish people that we met on our travels to Turku and Helsinki.  Special thanks to Merja and her husband for inviting us to their home and for their hospitality and delightful company.

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Thank you, Marianne, for a comment you made about the knitted guns.

You mentioned that the knitted guns are “toy-like” which sometimes means that they are perceived as smaller than “real ” guns.

This is the .22 rifle, roughly modeled on the James Bond-style gun.

The James Bond’s baby Bond gun is the antithesis of what James Bond stands for :- soft, cuddly, vulnerable, helpless and totally dependent on the care and attention of others with no control over it’s fate. It can be molded and squeezed into different shapes and spaces.

The James Bond’s baby Bond gun is made slightly larger than life size.

The.22 rifle appears to be bigger, just as difficult and violent people can appear bigger because they can cause you harm.

Recently, there has been a growing trend to design smaller guns in an effort to make them more consumer “friendly.”

 

 

 

Remember when you were a kid at school and the teacher would thump  your desk and yell- “Pay Attention!”

(Ok, so maybe I’m just talking about my experience at school….)

Barbie is on her way to Finland, to Kuusiston Taidekartano to be part of  ” Imagine a better future…”  with her BFF  friendship gun holster. She has 17 knitted bullets for the 17 children killed at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida,  spring 2018.

Hallo out there

Have we forgotten already what happened there?  Are we paying attention to what’s going on in our schools? Are we paying attention to what’s happening to our kids?

Do we think it’s some kind of game?

How else can we explain why there has been no legislation to control indiscriminate access to guns?

My hope for a better future is with the school children who have come together, in Florida and elsewhere, to protest and fight for their rights and ultimately their lives.

Here’s the thing- what are the grown-ups doing to help them?

 

 

no one’s scared of a knitted gun of silver and plum mohair, right?

How about a nice knitted machine gun ?

Getting my knitted arsenal together for the exhibition at Kuusiston Taidekartano, Finland, where my talk on September 2, will be about dealing with our fears without resorting to violence.

The exhibition will run from  August 12- September 14, 2018

 

Imagine a Better Future…at the Kuusisto Art Manor in Finland

August 12-September 14, 2018

I am very excited and honored to be invited to participate in the upcoming Art Exhibition at the Kuusisto Art Manor, located in South-Western Finland, 170 km west from Helsinki, and 17 km from Turku and Parainen.  I will be showing a collection of knitted guns.

The only moment to make a better future is now

Name of artwork: Sparky: 7mm semi -automatic knitted pistol. Size: 6 ¼“ x 5 ½” x 1” (16 cm x 14cm x 4cm) materials: black knitting yarn (mixed fibers) and silver metallic yarn, poly fill stuffing

Name of artwork: Pumpkin Princess: 7mm semi-automatic knitted pistol 5 ½” x 5” x 1” (14 cm x 13cm x 4cm) materials:100% orange mohair yarn black yarn(mixed fibers) poly fill stuffing

Imagine a future where we have the courage to address our fears and paranoia without threatening to kill each other. Here in USA, the gun lobby spent more than $30 million in the 2016 elections. Since 9/11, guns have been promoted as the  “ American “ way to protect oneself in a harsh and unforgiving society- as in the Wild West, where without a gun, you could not survive. Restricting the sale of guns is seen as taking away individual freedoms, leaving citizens vulnerable and helpless against what they see as destructive outside forces. To defeat this fear and to take the guns out of our schools, churches, nightclubs, hospitals, movie theatres, restaurants, people have to communicate their fears without grabbing a gun as the answer.

What if we transform the gun from a weapon of destruction, into a knitted object that can never cause any harm or pain. Why knitted? Knitting activities are in essence, all about sharing and promoting love, caring, protection. Imagine a grandmother or mother knitting by the fireside, knitting socks, hats or baby blankets. It is the image of peace, safety, warmth and comfort. The knitting stitch itself is a metaphor for our connection with each other- a continuous loop that holds us together, still flexible enough to stretch. Every loop is vital in the construction of the fabric- without all the loops holding each other together- the fabric unravels, and cannot function. If we can face our fears together in a community that is in a supportive, safe and protected environment, we can imagine and will have a better future.

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