This Has Nothing To Do With Mail Art...

This has nothing to do with mail art... Or does it?

When I first joined this lovely community of like-minded, creative types, I was in the midst of a project for which I had great passion. I was literally pouring myself into it. So much time had I dedicated to this particular project that I was unable to focus on anything else for very long. (Thus the reason many of you still have yet to receive return mail from me... I am slowly catching up, if you will continue to be patient. :D)

The project was a call for "Supportive Art" for Breast Cancer Awareness by Cloth, Paper, Scissors magazine. As a woman, the cause spoke to me. I LOVE artwork for a cause! I wanted to put the face of The Every Woman on Breast Cancer Awareness and so, I recruited women, particularly women who were survivors of breast cancer, to lend me their face shots for the project. I designed it and created it with LOVE and ADMIRATION for all those who have gone before, for all those who have suffered through and survived. I even hurt my poor phalanges! (Still can't locate the elusive leather thimble, despite DKulist tactics...) You see? I was PASSIONATE about it!

Maybe my medium is where I went wrong... I chose to crochet blossoms out of each face shot, connecting them together to form a supportive bra in the bright pink that represents breast cancer. Maybe my photography skills were lacking and did not do justice to the piece... In any event, the editors, the Powers That Be, did not deem my ART worthy to be MAILed to their offices for further consideration.

No one likes rejection, but all artists and writers have to face it. Our work is wholly subjective. I am not pouting for myself so much as I am disappointed for having involved so many women, exciting their hopes and their passions, only to let them down.

Breast Cancer Awareness month is October. I am determined to find a way to get this project out there for its intended purpose!

And so... I appeal to you, my creative equals, for ideas that might help me to do justice by these lovely women. What avenues might still lie ahead for this project? If you can think of anything, no matter how insignificant it might seem, or how far fetched, I want to hear it! I am a firm believer that it takes a village... For better or for worse, YOU are my village now. :D

Thank you, in advance, for your brainstorming!



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Comment by Lynn Radford on May 18, 2012 at 4:40pm

UPDATE: Submitted to artspace, Richmond's "Pushing the Limits" fiber exhibit. Will know more after June 4th.


Comment by Lynn Radford on May 16, 2012 at 4:54pm

Dear Thom, so gentle, so wise!

Thank you so very much for the lovely words of compliment and encouragement.

I learned to make the blossoms from a pattern years ago that has since stuck in my head. I modified it to accomodate the faces. But the rest was all me... figuring out how best to connect and shape, make lovely and yet supportive.

I taught myself to crochet when I was 10, using a booklet, hook and stolen yarn from my mother. She knits and crochets, but isn't very patient and never had the inclination to teach me. That summer, I made curly bookworm bookmarks (complete with wiggly eyes!) to sell at a friend's garage sale. I was HOOKED! I could never teach myself to knit... It impresses me that you have been doing this since the age of FIVE! I would love to hear the backstory...

Your suggestion for a small scale, local show is a sound one.  I'll have to put out some feelers and see what happens. I do have a few friends who belong to the Fiberarts Guild of Pittsburgh. That might point me in the right direction. I wish that yarn shops were as plentiful here as they are in your neck of the woods! (I can't find a one here!)

I'm ceratinly not afraid of doing a little work to ensure that the message gets out there. I'll need to explore all options and see what presents itself. Your encouragement means a great deal. I am truly honored that you took the time to post here.

Comment by Thom Courcelle on May 15, 2012 at 9:52pm

Oh, Lynn--  You're right, rejection IS hard.  But juries and curators are a funny bunch.  I have a hard time believing that they didn't find some merit in this piece.  As a fiber artist--someone who's been doing crocheting and knitting since the age of five--I can tell you that I think this piece is ASTOUNDING.  First off,  I can tell even by this picture that your handwork--your stitching technique--is consistent and lovely. Second, I have to assume that you came up with the pattern on your own--THAT is an ARTISTIC TALENT in and of its own.  It's evident that you took care to make sure that all the participants' photos and visages were clearly prominent, unobstructed, and delicately undamaged by the attached medium--and really the piece is about these strong women, so brava and kudos.  There are EVERYTHING and SO MANY THINGS that are successful with this piece!!

In part, I think we have to be pleased and satisfied with our personal accomplishments when we create art.  We're releasing something to the universe that scratched an itch to get out of us.  The fact that your piece is a tribute, makes it that much more valuable to the universe--believe me.

My suggestion would be to not let the juries and curators define what happens to your art.  You created that piece for the universe, and if the sky is too cloudy for the heavens to see it... well then you just learn how to fly a plane and get it up there above the clouds!  In other words,  I bet you could find an additional group of people who would be willing to add their own work to your tribute theme and do your OWN mini art show--maybe at a coffeehouse, or a another supportive business--a yarn shop?--that would display the work for the public and let you have a little opening night shindig.  It would take a little effort, but not a lot more than you've already put into that beauty of a piece.

I'm proud of you for accomplishing that masterpiece. Bless you.

Comment by Lynn Radford on May 15, 2012 at 8:43pm

Thank you for the lovely words of compliment, Sarah and Les!

Great idea for the add and pass, Jim! Not something I had previously considered...

A&S, I liked the way you expanded upon that premise. You and Snooks are ALL HEART!

Although I am still open to more suggestions, and have not ruled out the possibility of an add and pass with this piece, I think it's next step is a blind submission to CPS's sister publication, Crochet Me. Insomuch as I am looking for a place for this piece to deliver it's message, I am also looking to get as much mileage out of it as I can. I'm entertaining thoughts of a pitch to the Susan G. Komen foundation for a mail art call, resulting in an auction to raise funds. Of course the bra would then be donated to the cause. I see that as the grand finale for this piece, so an add and pass would certainly fit should time allow for one.

Keep those ideas coming! :D

Comment by Jim SantAmour on May 15, 2012 at 7:47pm

This could make a great add-and-pass.  Each recipient would add a small art piece and place it into one of the cups and then pass it along.  The art would have to relate a story of how the artist or a loved one was/is affected by breast cancer - or how a woman has been meaningful or influencial in their lives.  Then, say after being passed to a predetermined number of people, it's returned to you...and you then can post the responses on this blog.



Comment by Sarah Churchill on May 15, 2012 at 7:35pm
A wonderful project with an even more wonderful outcome. I'm sure there must be another avenue for it, I just don't know what yet.
Comment by Lesley Magwood Fraser on May 15, 2012 at 7:13pm

A Wonderbra of note! Well done Lynn!



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