A friend taught me how to spin in a park and while we were spinning, women came up to us and talked about their mothers and grandmothers spinning. This was one of those “aha” moments and did indeed plant the seed for this project. The thread began there.
Armed with my drop spindle, I ventured out to various parks in NYC’s four boroughs during the summer of 2006. Once inside the parks, I donned my grandmother’s apron, slipped my digital recorder into the pocket, pulled carded wool out of my bag, grabbed my spindle and started to spin. Passersby stopped to look—curious kids, spinners, knitters, mothers and fathers—and many started off by saying, “In my country….” (“my country was not one place; instead, it was: Bhutan, China, Colombia Greece, Jamaica, Nepal, South Africa and Tibet). After each session, the yarn was wound on a bobbin, the recording was downloaded, and an entry was written for each person. Over the next year, spinning sessions (described above) were conducted in various public settings in Arlington County, VA including: Arlington County Fair, Harvey Hall Community Center, Arlington Mill Community Center and at the Planet Arlington World Music Festival. As a location Arlington County was the perfect host for these sessions, since the last census indicated that 93 countries were represented amongst their residents.
The artist as spinner catalyzes the most tangible aspect of memory, weaving people into the process of their experience.
homespun wool, audio (recording by Brece Honeycutt), video (filmed by Andrea Hull), video monitor, dvd player, headphones, stainless steel pins, 7’4” x 15” x 7”
2008 The Thread as the Line, Ellipse Arts Center, Arlington, VA
2009, Global Fabrics, Common Threads, ISE Foundation, New York, NY
2023, Causality, curated by Jason Andrew, M.David & Co., Brooklyn, NY
Photographed by Cynthia Connolly and Greg Staley