Thursday, January 31, 2013

Poems to come/ in process

One of my favorite poets sent me some poems to embroider via email, each one carefully considered and rendered in 140 or fewer characters:

Can't wait to stitch these! 

Thanks to my father, Monte Olenick. Is he trying to tell me something in the last tweet?!

Look out for my forthcoming embroideries with #Dadknowsbest!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

@Spencermadsen #dateme

Text by @spencermadsen

Thanks for this entertaining bit of self deprecation!

Embroidery on fabric. 2013. @spencermadsen #dateme

Friday, January 25, 2013

@EmbroideryPoems #BrooklynTweets

Dear blog readers,

I learned a few weeks ago that I have a grant from the Brooklyn Arts Council, courtesy of the Greater New York Arts Development Fund of the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, to collect and embroider Twitter "poetry." Yay! I am so excited!

I envision a web of interconnected tweeting between myself and poets, both self-defined and accidental, throughout Brooklyn and really everywhere. Sometime this spring or summer, I plan to have a live poetry reading with a responsive embroidery circle. The embroiderers will try to record the poets' words, but since they won't be able to stitch quickly enough, they will end up embroidering what they remember, resulting in new "found/accidental" poems.

The beauty of Twitter is in its ephemeral nature. But this ephemeral quality is exactly what I'm trying to counteract:
I find our obsession with disposable communications sad, and long for a sense of permanence and meaning. That's why I'm embroidering tweets, and also why I'm seeking writers who use Twitter to say something important to them. 

So you, yes you, blog readers, can help. Tweet me @IvivaOlenick or @EmbroideryPoems. I need you, yes, you!

One of my first embroideries for this project appears below. Thanks @postcrunk for the words, which seem to have resonated with so many people. 

Don't use Twitter? That's ok. You can follow along via my new blog for this project.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Unfolding Heart in process

In experimenting with unconventional books in fabric, I am planning to layer another piece of fabric on top of this one with parts of the heart cut out and then sewn back on as flaps that can be lifted to reveal the stitched heart underneath, which you see here.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Some of my requirements for love...

Happy new year, dear blog readers.

I am excited to share this project, which I was able to finish with the help of a week away from some of my regular responsibilities. I think of this book, "Some of my requirements for love..." as a gift to myself for 2013. 

I don't have requirements for love. A whole industry around dating has arisen in the past few years, offering many different versions of advice for single people seeking love. Some advice is to make lists of what you're truly seeking in a mate. Hence my use of the word "requirements" in this piece.

I have to admit that I often don't understand dating advice, because it feels contrary to how I think and experience the world. I also feel as though some of the advice implies that being single is a problem to be solved. If you're single, then there must be something wrong with you...

I long for a loving partner, and I experience love in my life every day from friends and family. The man I partner with romantically will add to this love and bring a new dimension to a life in which I am already 100 percent invested and engaged. 

"Some of my requirements
for love..." 2013. 8"x4.5".
Primarily hand with
machine embroidery.
Top of book, folded.
"hoping to find a home in you."

"Some of my requirements
for love..." 2013. 8"x4.5".
Primarily hand with
machine embroidery.
Page 1. "Some of my requirements
for love are arbitrary."
"Some of my requirements
for love..." 2013. 8"x9".
Primarily hand with
machine embroidery.
Inside of book. "Some of my
requirements for love are mandatory."