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ARTIST AS WRITER

I am expressing gratefulness for the fullness of one lifetime: I began my career in the visual arts (film) and was educated in the fine arts, then life and circumstances took a turn and I began to interview artists and filmmakers. That change led me to a degree in Writing and to a professorship at Boston University where I taught for 13 years. Until I began to write on sculptures that were the same size as a computer screen. The sculptures–and color– absorbed my mind, my work hours, my passion. I returned to my beginning, to my fine art background and have not looked back.

DAY 21 of 21 DAY EXPERIENCE OF WOMAN IN ABAYA

I want inner peace. I want love. I wanted the experience of being a woman in Abaya; I choose to do it for 21 days. I wore the garment as an artistic experience. I am an artist. Here's what i found out....

DAY 20 of 21 DAY EXPERIENCE OF WOMAN IN ABAYA

Abaya can be a fashion garment and some women have 30 or more abayas in their closet. Wafaa explained that women like to show off their new clothes, no matter where they live. But in Saudi Arabia, when you go out of the house, it’s not realistic to think you will have opportunity to show off your new jeans and a blouse--but you can show off your new abaya.

Day 19 of 21 Day Experience of Woman in Abaya

I spent the afternoon in Ivy Leagued Harvard Square--mostly in the Harvard College quadrangle--hoping I might get smarter by osmosis, just by strolling among the elite, the gifted, and the buildings that house extraordinary collections of books, and visiting the Out of Town Newsstand.

DAY 18 OF 21 DAY EXPERIENCE OF WOMAN IN ABAYA

Boston Artists Bo Petran and Christine Palamidessi discuss their upcoming show--Wabi-Sabi, Febraury 2019-- and the intent behind the Abaya project.

DAY 17 OF 21 DAY EXPERIENCE OF WOMAN IN ABAYA

During the past 16 days many people have asked why I am not covering my hair when I am wearing the abaya and the veil. I thought it might be interesting to bring in an expert: the wonderful and lovely Saudi woman who is mentoring me during the abaya project.

Day16 of 21 Day Experience of Woman in Abaya

Today I talked to Wililam DeLove, a homeless person. When I told him I was an artist experiencing 21 Days in the Abaya.  He said, "I thought you were a nun."

Day 15 of 21 Day Experience in Abaya

The Indian statue at Sunrise Park on the Mohawk Trail greets the Great Spirit and reminds us:  Love. Love. Love. Other people. Your fate. Your obstacles. Love it all. Because it’s the only way.

Day 14 of 21 Day Experience in Abaya

Beauty is glad to come and go freely at the Corning Museum of Glass in Elmira, New York

DAY 12 OF 21 DAY EXPERIENCE OF WOMAN IN ABAYA

Since today is the anniversary of the Saudi Arabia's royal decree allowing the government to issue drivers license to women, and I'm in Watkins Glen (car racing capital) , it is also a good day to  pay tribute to a woman’s right to drive her own car; say what she needs to say; stand up for herself and her country.

Day 11 of 21 Day Experience of Woman in Abaya

A busload of Chinese tourists at a Massachusetts rest stop were trying so hard to buy chicken nuggets and hamburgers and I decided to help them out with pictures and sign language.

Day 10 of 21 Day Experience of Woman in Abaya

Not many people know much about Muslim women and their garments. Most of us think it is an ancient way to dress. In fact it is not. The outfit I am wearing, and the full black ‘cage’ is a new fashion in Middle East. Prior to the late 70s, early 80s women were not required to wear the body covering garment. They might wear head covering as simple as a scarf and dressed modestly.  The change came when the religious fundamental cleric class made the laws regarding women’s clothing.

Day 9 of 21 Day Experience of Woman in Abaya

During my subway ride, a woman stared at me as if i were an insect. When I got up to leave she followed my movement out with her eyes and even turned around and looked at me through the window as the train pulled away, as if she wanted to be sure I was gone.

DAY 8 OF 21 DAY EXPERIENCE OF WOMAN IN ABAYA- Logistics

Today, at the subway station, had to deal with the logistics of wearing abaya--like how to keep hem clean, how not to get it caught in the elevator steps and how to hold onto the veil when its slip sliding off the head.

DAY 7 OF 21 DAY EXPERIENCE OF WOMAN IN ABAYA

Our instincts push us towards the comfortable.  And I think that seeking to be comfortable can be dangerous. I am an artist, and a good one. If I stayed in a comfort zone, I might be making a different kind of art, a polite art. That’s not my intention: there are enough people doing nice art. I’d rather provoke thinking rather than feeling.

DAY 6 OF 21 DAY EXPERIENCE OF WOMAN IN ABAYA

You just can’t keep a girl away from her tools and her power of observation. It's really hitting home that people don’t pay much attention to what’s going on around them. I suppose this human condition is what criminals, terrorists, and cheaters count on: operating in the realm of other’s unawareness.

DAY 5 OF 21 DAY EXPERIENCE OF WOMAN IN ABAYA

I went to an Open House for a $2.4 million Cambridge property near Harvard University. The back page of the 10-page brochure that the agents handed out to visitors featured a quote from T.S. Eliot “Home is Where One Starts From.” I wore my abaya.

DAY 4 OF 21 DAY EXPERIENCE OF WOMAN IN ABAYA.

When a woman in an Abaya is seen on the street with a man let’s assume everyone figures he is related to her and that the man is Muslim...and if he is Muslim, he is the person who has requested his wife, daughter, sister cover her body in public.

Day 3 of 21 Day Experience of Woman in Abaya

I stated Day 3 feeling a bit like an interloper until two women said "excuse me" in Arabic as they brushed past me and their polite, expressed respect, and kindness made me cowgirl-up, shifting my mood.

Day 2 of 21 Day Experience of Woman in Abaya

In the market On Day 2 Woman in Abaya the artist experienced that she was not invisible, that men noticed her as a human not as a sexual object, women looked sideways at her and that most people didn't look at all since they were involved with their cell phones.

5 Things to Know about Designing an Art Exhibit Post Card

Tips for making a postcard to announce your upcoming art exhibit.

Fake News & the Typewriter

Way back before iPads, etc, just the thought of a journalist, or a writer, taking the seat next to you on a flight cross-country was more than pesky...now inside a sculpture, the type bar fan of the same typewriter illustrates an internal dialogue about journalism and the internet.

WRITER AS VISUAL ARTIST: MAKING THE SHIFT

I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn’t say any other way — things I had no words for.  ~Georgia O’Keeffe (” Pleasure Principle” pictured, Christine Palamidessi) Since I have been active in both the... Continue Reading →

WHEN IS A PIECE OF SCULPTURE DONE?

An artist never really finishes his work; he merely abandons it. ~Paul Valéry (French French poet, writer, philosopher. 1871-1945 ) In my gut I know when a sculpture is “done” and know that doing one more thing to it will either take... Continue Reading →

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