Friday, November 13, 2009

Inspiration: Part 2

I´m sitting at an Internet Point outside of security at the Munich airport and since I have six more hours before departing for Pisa, I thought I could at least add another bit of inspiration to the blog. I´ve got a lot of catching up to do and no internet time in which to do it, plus visitors arriving tomorrow! But catch up I will...

In the meantime, please enjoy this clip of some of the women of Gee´s Bend, Alabama speaking about their lives and their quilting process. I want to write more about these women (I visited them with my father and Lloyd back in 2007), but for now I give you the clip and encourage you to view others on Youtube as well. These women were a significant inspiration for QUILTED and you´ll see why much faster just watching them than reading anything I write about them.


(The above is a on it!)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Jessica, my French partner-in-quilting-crime

This post was begun on October 28th. The next morning, QUILTED began and I didn't have another real chance to post through the days of the festival. This past Friday (Nov. 6th) I came down with some nasty flu-like-bug and only went out and met the world again today. The festival will be over after tomorrow night, and I leave Poland even before the 7pm tomorrow. So, I have a lot of catching up to do on this blog. The good news? QUILTED in its first iteration may be finished, but the project will definitely go on.

(I will resume the below post in past tense...I apologize for the post-modern journalistic confusion!)

I am just returning from the Institute, which is where QUILTED will be held. Jessica and I set up the space - she participating with me fully while handling a million other ZBF last-minute tasks. I should introduce you to Jessica. She is also a member of the Workcenter and her group has been handling all aspects of ZBF since The Open Program (Lloyd's group) arrived in Poland. In the evening of my first full day in Wroclaw, Jessica and I went to a cozy little cafe nestled in one of the many courtyards of the Rynek and discussed how to bring QUILTED into being over spiced wine and warm honey beer (The wine was so good that I've been searching it out ever since and try to make a point of experiencing it if I'm out at night).

That evening, Jessica and I brainstormed all of the possibilities for bringing Polish women together under the scope of ZBF...we didn't want to scare women away who might view the Festival as being about theater, but we didn't want to forget the purpose of the project, which draws its basis from the purpose of ZBF. We came up with possibilities and tasks for the both of us (Jessica had been assigned the ZBF Workshops and QUILTED is under this heading in the program) and enjoyed our beverages. By the time we left the cafe, we were rosy with excitement and still trying to think of how to gather women for the project. Just as we turned the corner of the courtyard, walking arm in arm, we looked to the left and saw a sewing shop. It was kismet. As with that first happy accident, the steps leading up to QUILTED have proved quite easy.

(Now that the project has been going for some days and is, in fact, finished without being "finished", I may be a little less naive in my reporting...)

Okay, so I found the sewing shop. On one of the Open Program's days off, Lloyd and I walked back to the cafe and I stopped into the sewing shop to purchase some needles and to make some inquiries. As I've mentioned before, the woman who waited on me spoke English and she gave me the number of a community of women in Wroclaw who meet to sew together. I next took this number to Urszula, a member of Jessica's group who is from Poland, and she called the women. There was some interest, but the timing seemed to be off. In the meantime, a woman named Bieta who works at the Grotowski Institute informed Jessica that she was interested in participating. Another woman, Bogosha, also showed some interest in participating. Both women were very curt when I approached them, but I was assured that they had mentioned that they wanted to participate. I met with Bogosha one afternoon and she told me about a fabric store about twenty minutes from the Rynek by foot that she highly recommended for cheap, attractive fabric.

The workshop date of Thursday, Oct. 29th was fast approaching (also the first official day of Zero Budget Festival) and I had much preparation still to do. I didn't have any Polish women who were confirmed to come, I had no experience in making a quilt and I had no materials for participants if they actually be continued...