On the road again

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After a long a long hiatus the travelling journal is on the road again. It has spent a long time with Sierra Nelson who has done wonderful creative things to it. For her journal page she has added some poetry-fortune … Continue reading

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The journal stopped by Duluth, Minnesota for some new art, and is now on its way to Seattle.

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Hoarding Journals

So this journal and I have become quite close… considering that I have unintentionally keeping it for way beyond any amount of time that one should keep a “traveling” journal. I have not ruined its name though! For it is again flying around on its way. No news is good news, because that means it is probably still around. No reports of its death. So I am here to confirm its life. it lives!

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Floating Cards

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finding its way back

as i write this, the travelling jounral sits next to me on the banks of the gihon river. when mark handed this over to me in baltimore, i had no idea that i would find myself here again, suffering in my studio and losing hair to my fingers for each sentence i couldn’t write. but the book has this calming effect on me – i look at it every once and again and think of the legacy of inspiration it contains. now that it’s in my possession it gives me some confidence that i can find something deep inside me to push me forward.

so, here we go. some imagined stories of imagined people locked up in an imagined asylum. in iambic pentameter. god, i love fiction.

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As soon as spring began my fairly clean apartment started having a mouse problem. The cats would very considerately leave them in obvious places for us to find. Everyday became an adventure. Mornings of mice by the kitchen table or by the bed became routine. Needless to say I have mice on the brain. I took this opportunity to explore my mouse adventures, and my rediscovery of craft fabric paint!

The Journal departs tomorrow.

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Wow! Today was the longest craziest work day of my entire adult life. To Make matters worse spring has decided against coming despite the supposed seasonal change. In fact we have a looming threat of snow. So I was was shocked and amazed by my unexpected package from Ms. Erin. The journal looks amazing and I am excited to get to work. YAY!!! Natasha

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Saint Petersburg, Florida USA

These days I have been sewing a lot. I make hats as a cathartic release from art, from life, from thinking too much. They are fun and silly and leave traces of feather and glitter and shiny things all over my home and studio. They make me very, very happy. There is always scrap paper piled up that I use for various things such as a palette for fabric paint or as a table protector so my awl doesn’t puncture my the wooden tabletop. One particular scrap had a wonky grid of holes punched straight through, it was sitting on top of some pink glitter paper so that traces of the glitter shone through when moved in the light. It made me think of Amna’s piece with the laser cut out words. Toasted over a candle glued together, and Viola! remnants of my life, remnants of my studio, remnants of things that bring me joy and as I said above- make me very, very happy. The journal is getting thick already…. it hits the road tomorrow.

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An invisible Veil…from Pakistan

During my stay at VSC, I explored paper as medium for an installation.

This work is an extension of the image above I did in Vermont and I derived the same image using Arabic Alphabets depicting the Muslim world. I used laser cutting and one can actually see through it.

An invisible Veil….

The subject matter deals with identity. When I was at Vermont I strongly felt my individuality as a Muslim, as a Pakistani. Since it was my first experience to work amongst so many people from different parts of the world, I found myself dealing with and finding answers to so many questions. It was a great ideological rupture for me when I got back home; the conceptual anticipation of a new territory.

Is it the Muslim country of the country of the Muslims?

I am trying to make implicit and explicit references to this specific set of circumstances: objects that might occur in an everyday or trivial fashion with a set of meanings that are culturally, socially or politically nuanced.

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Celebrating the birth of a great poet from Edinburgh

14th November 2010 marked the centenary of the Scottish poet Norman MacCaig. I wanted to create a piece in the journal celebrating his life and work. I had taken his poem Harris, East side (1962) as a source of inspiration for my drawing. I wanted to capture the haunting, weather beaten landscape showing glimpses of human history. Like MacCaig, I much enjoy hill walking and have rambled over the heather and rocks of Harris in the Outer Hebrides, Scotland. I love the scenery and light in Harris, for me, inspirations like this last more than a lifetime.

Harris, East side

Stones crowd and shine
As though a Christ preached, they his multitude.
(Weather’s their gospel, and they need no sign).

The narrow bay
Has a knuckle of houses and a nail of sand
By which the sea hangs grimly to the land.

A boat, deflowered
Of its brown sail, pokes its bald pistil up,
Fattening the seed of miles it has devoured

It rocks upon
The rocking world and sends its small waves back
Against the waves that turned its blue to black.

On a green sword
A woman stands knee deep in hens and from
A flashing pail scatters their peaceful Word.

Around alters hung
With holy weeds, ducks, as they skid and lurch,
Quack soft, like laymen working in a church.

And light bends down
In seeming benediction, though it comes
From where hail buds and vicious thunder drums.

Its storms lie round,
Already here where a roof shows its bones
Or where a child sits in a field of stones.

– Norman MacCaig –

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