ISFB back in the USA and in residence at Cherryhurst House

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Yup. We did it.

Through miracles, extreme generosity and a lot of hard work,In Search of the Frightening & Beautiful made it to Argentina. 10 months. 14 countries. And more new images, stories and new relationships than I can currently wrap my mind around.

Through the end of 2014 and beginning of 2015, a book was made and planning was done to get the project back on the road. Then in January last year, Cherryhurst House, a new artist residency and exhibition space in Houston, appeared on my horizon. Through the acquisition of my piece Triumph and an invitation to reside and make new art work in there 2016, they provided not only most of the funding for the journey, but a safe landing spot and the space and time I'll need to consider what it all means and figure out how to move forward.

This means lots of new art work. An exhibition at CH in September. And many opportunities to create, write, discuss, collaborate and connect to anyone who wants to know. It's exciting.

This spring there will be many opportunities for folks to kick back, enjoy a beverage and to get to know more about In Search of the Frightening & Beautiful and Cherryhurst House. A participating venue in the Houston photography biennial FotoFest International, CH is throwing its doors wide open through new regular open hours and special evening soirées. Photo-based work by Barbara Levine/Project B and Daniela Edburg will be on view, as I conduct informal studio tours and show images from my journey through the Americas.

So come on down! We want to meet you. There are many stories to tell..
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In Search of the Frightening and Beautiful: the next phase

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It has been well over a year and half now since I launched In Search of the Frightening and Beautiful, my motorcycle-adventure-cum-landscape-intervention project. Through it I have covered nearly 25,000 miles and have left 30 small gifts to strangers everywhere in the form of hand-embroidered art works, all around the United States and Mexico, for random folks to encounter and keep. I have had experiences too profound to describe verbally (as evidenced by how behind my blog is), but that I hope are better captured in the photographs found on the project's Facebook page. I have ridden through monsoons. Met total strangers who've saved my life. Crashed on several different dirt roads varying in length and intensity. And made a number of fantastic new friends, conversations with whom will stay with me for the rest of my days.

Since March 2013, I have made 25 new works based on those experiences, which have been shown in four exhibitions in New York, Mexico and California. I've given lectures at two universities, conducting a workshop for students at one of them. Articles have been written, the Facebook page is active and the project's audience is growing, confirming the need to keep it alive. Yes indeed... I have unfinished business to take care of.

Early next year I will head south again, this time much farther, as far as resources will allow, toward the bottom of the southern hemisphere. I will head back down through Mexico, into Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama and with a little luck, across the Darien Gap into Columbia and beyond. I'll leave in my wake a trail of little pieces, embroidered with motorcycle body parts and bits of text describing observations I've collected so far on the journey... small bits of humanity intended to coincide with the lives of total strangers, those with cultures and languages different from my own.

Once again, I'll need all the help I can get my hands on. I'll need to connect with as many other kind faces as possible, anyone who can offer a bed, route advice or a garage floor where I might change my bike's oil. (I'll be bringing my haircutting shears in order to barter for rooms or meals - I was a salon pro for 10 years, so I may as well put those skills to work!) And yes, I'm going to need lots of cash.

I will spend the next 3 months preparing for this, laying out a long-overdue book and making multiple editions of art works in order to raise money for In Search of the Frightening and Beautiful 2015. There will be watercolors and prints, the book, and if time allows perhaps even t-shirts, that I will sell to raise cash for this project. These will be made and shipped before I leave! Stay tuned to this space, and/or be sure to "like" the Facebook page for all the nuggets of info as they arise. And, feel free to check out the Available Work page to see what you can score now, in time for the holidays.

For now, I wish you all a warm and peaceful closing to the end of your year.

Besos y abrazos,
Heather
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Introducing "Artificial Heart": hand-embroidered, wearable works of art

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Artificial Heart is a new, somewhat experimental clothing line and customization service, defined so far by classy secondhand clothes embellished with the hand-embroidered mechanical bits and pieces I so often use in my artwork. The goal: to create a sustainable, mobile, and highly enjoyable way to make a living while producing accessible art works that will be seen everywhere!

For me, the term "Artificial Heart" signifies both the mechanical and the life-giving. Its precision beats pump out vital fluids throughout the body, mixing blood and oxygen, as a carburetor feeds exact mixtures of air and fuel into the rapidly-firing pistons of an engine. Form and function are united...which is the spirit I hope to explore in these hand-sewn pieces.

I begin by saving gently used, well-constructed pieces of clothing from the landfill, selecting them based on their simplicity and uniqueness. Each piece is paired with an equally distinctive embroidery design - one that emphasizes or contrasts with the garment's special character. The design is then stitched to the piece by hand, a process that can take several hours... and the end result is worth the effort!

Take a look at Artificial Heart's web page. If you see something you like, or if you already have a special piece of clothing you'd like embroidered, get in touch - the holidays are upon us!

Salut,
Heather

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"Mapping the Unfamiliar" now open in New York

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Mapping the Unfamiliar
at BoxoOFFICE
421 Hudson Street #701
New York, NY 10014

On view through November 15
Gallery hours: Th-Sun 12-6

This past weekend, the BoxoHOUSE artist-in-residence survey show, Mapping the Unfamiliar, opened to the public in New York City with a fantastic turnout. All works on view have been created via the BoxoHOUSE residency program in Joshua Tree, CA, during its 2013 season. I am honored to be showing alongside William Lamson, Steed Taylor, Saul Melman, David Goodman and Megan Wilson, all of whom are incredibly talented and dedicated artists.

For Mapping the Unfamiliar I spent the summer working on several new pieces begun while in residence at BoxoHOUSE. The most ambitious of these is Triumph, a 69 x 76-inch single panel embroidery which is by far the largest of my career so far. Be sure to stop by BoxoOFFICE and take a look! On view through November 15, 2013.
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an upcoming residency begets an epic life change!!

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A few months ago, I was invited by the most honorable Mr. Bernard Leibov to do an artist residency at BoxoPROJECTS, a fledgling program in Joshua Tree, CA, dedicated to bringing contemporary art to the "new frontier" as he describes it.

This would mean:
  • Leaving NYC for 2 and a half months.
  • Quitting the job I've worked full time for over 6 years
  • Taking off on a dream-like epic journey by motorcycle across the country and back, alone. No comfortable apartment with secure garage. No dog. No boyfriend to bail me out of tough situations (including loneliness).

I said "yes" without even thinking about it.

This April, under the guise of a project I'm calling, a flight in search of the frightening and beautiful, I will ride my motorbike down south and across the TX, NM, AZ and CA deserts to Joshua Tree, stay for a month, and return by a northern route from San Francisco up across the northern Rockies. Along the way, I will visit sites I find deeply fascinating, beautiful, and/or disturbing, sites in the landscape that exhibit dramatic transformations as a result of some man-made action done in the name of art, science or "progress". I plan on collecting evidence of these places - texts, artifacts or other memorabilia - and in exchange, I will leave behind a small "piece" of myself in the form of a body part or bike part, rendered in thread and tacked to gates or dropped in the dirt for anyone to encounter, take and keep. The project blog's URL (http://thefrighteningandbeautiful.blogspot.com) will be sewn to each piece to enable finders to get more info and to follow the project and its trail of breadcrumbs.

While in Joshua Tree, whose environs are rife with all kinds of fantastically beautiful manmade interventions (abandoned mines, water diversion pumps, toxic waste dump sites and site-specific sculptures), I will make a series of embroidered studies: layered compositions integrating images and information I encounter onsite and on the road. Eventually these will lead to a series of embroidered works much larger in scope and scale.

Of course I am going to have to raise (forgive me) a shit-pile of money to do this, to pay for gas, food, random bike repairs, and the NYC metro-area rent that still must be paid while I'm gone. So I do hope you all will bear with me as I hit you up for nickels and dimes in a soon-to-be-announced crowd funding campaign. There will be some nice little perks (including original artworks for big bucks) and I plan on updating the blog as frequently as possible with stories, pictures and GPS tracks to keep folks apprised of my comings and goings.

So… STAY TUNED M'DARLIN'S!!

Heather
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