Texas Roadtrip 2019
My five years living in Fort Worth in the late 80s were both financially and socially challenging (the very bright spot was getting pregnant with and delivering Collin, a 6th generation Texan). I discovered the Japanese Gardens on my first exploratory trip for housing, when I realized how different our lives would be here vs. our culturally diverse time in Houston. These gardens became one of my frequent getaways, transporting me to peaceful moods and reconnecting me to my true self.
In the 80s, I was drawn into photography in a new way when I saw Richard Avedon’s large scale photographs “In the American West” at the Amon Carter... as SFGate’s Kenneth Baker wrote, these photos: “consistently shows us people whose self-representations appear to override the camera's powers of affirmation and betrayal.”
During today’s visit, I saw works and artists that had influenced me and/or parallel my creative interests...
Dallas-area James Surls “Seven and Seven Flower” with his use of fence posts and materials gleaned from his land
Lewis Wickes Hine “Steamfitter” . He was originally a sociologist; I am a political scientist... and chose to use his camera as a tool for activism
Mexican-born Gabriel Dawe “Plexus no. 34” using sewing thread to push gender + material stereotypes and his use of web like connections (plexus - network of nerves) which, for me, symbolize, in my community memory project, our collective community memory
Camille Utterback “Untitled 5” using digital/tech art in an interactive, collaborative way, each interaction influenced by the previous one and influencing the next one
And then a surprising juxtaposition of Georgia o’Keefe and a male artist’s (Robert Laurent) similar “, but sculptural, use of plant forms which, when she painted them, pigeon holed her as a painter of erotic female form.
When I lived here, I was the public relations￼ and marketing director for the YMCA. One of our members was friends with Ed Bass,who, at that time developed what was then called the , Caravan of Dreams (now Reata) on Houston street. On the roof of this performance/art center was a geodesic dome and bar to which we were able to have private access one night. ￼The dome relates to another project Ed financed, Biosphere 2, in the Sonoran Desert, which was initially supposed to be a totally enclosed space, Including domes, for environmental experiments. I seem to recall that the systems of natural air purification failed, but that there was still decent scientific information that came out of that project.￼￼ I enjoyed some Mezcal up there last night After drinks and light fare at Booger Reds in the stockyards and a quick tour around “the largest honkey tonk in the world”, Billy Bob’s :-)￼
Another place of respite for me when I lived here in the 80s were these water gardens by Phillip Johnson and John Burgee. Climbing down into them, below street level and with the falling water blocking out any city noise, was heaven. This morning I had the whole, glorious space to myself!
A place to decant my brain, to capture inspiration and share fresh insights. [Posts from 2015 onward]