(College Days: University of North Texas)
The mind is an impressive and enigmatic phenomenon. It’s a wonder how memories can lay dormant in the back corners of our minds for years, nearly forgotten, until one day life takes you back a few chapters.
And so, life flipped open to a nearly forgotten chapter…college.
As a Fashion Design major, Fibers 101 was a required course. The course consisted of fiber techniques such as silk painting, embroidery, needle-pointing, basket weaving, etc. Daily experimenting with various natural and synthetic fibers, from fine silks to dried twigs. The class was full of very arduous, dated and tedious techniques. I’d often ask myself, “Why would THIS be a requirement?”
I couldn’t make sense of this class, therefore my projects were quite “meh” in my opinion. Yet, no matter how critical I had been of my work I aced every project. Not because the art was executed to perfection. Tuh, certainly not that. Ha. It was because the presentation of the art left them emotionally invested, it was the story that connected them to the art. For a moment in time they were suspended in human emotion, coasting along the relatable yet imaginative mental ride of understanding that art, life and beauty are all subjective and all-encompassing. Although each piece came home with me, my words left them with something, something they COULD take with them.
In fashion, fibers are defined as thin threads of natural or synthetic structures that can be spun into things such as yarns, threads, ropes, etc.
In life, however, the FIBERS are the hands we are dealt in life and from those fibers we create art. The ART itself is a tangible and visual display of our lives and character. Oh, but the presentation…the presentation is the impact, OUR STORY, the story we share with “the class”. It’s what connects the artist and the observer. Once the art is removed from display, they may not remember every color, fiber or technique you used, but they WILL REMEMBER your words. They will remember how you made them FEEL.
Here, today, the recent loss of my granny left me in a voided space, a space between here and nowhere. Things I thought had broken me in the past were merely cracks compared to this. It is now, that I understand, Fibers 101 was in fact a lesson in LIFE + GREIF long before I’d ever need it. It taught me that the story/presentation is just as important as the art itself, if not more. It’s ONLY THING we get to take with us after the art is no longer on display.
(Granny trying on her new Dimiloc top.)
You see, my granny never hid herself from me, her likes, dislikes, her successes and her failures, her joys and her sorrows, dreams and fears. Her life was art and she painted a picture in vivid color. She taught me that art/life doesn’t need to be perfect before it’s presented/shared. She is now gone and there is nothing tangible to console me. Her words however, how she made me FEEL…those are the things I cling to. Some things you should never have to let go of. I will always remember her presentation to “the class”.