Snow on peaks

Snow on peaks

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Tarahumara Blanket Weaving

Maria Elena
In the early spring of 2008 I video taped a traditional Tarahumara blanket weaver at work. On March 26, 2012 I showed my video, “Tarahumara Blanket Weaving,” as well as the blanket itself and photography stills to the Dallas Area Fiber ARTists. The video documents the work of a traditional Tarahumara blanket weaver. Blanket weaving is in rapid decline among the Tarahumara due to the introduction of cheaper, imported blankets from China.

Beginning with the hand shearing of a sheep with common kitchen scissors, this video follows a Tarahumara woman through all the steps and processes of creating a hand-woven blanket and ends with her working the giant ground loom. The goal of the video is to document the traditional processes and to instill in the viewer an appreciation for the ancient craft of weaving.

Mexico's Tarahumara are one of three indigenous groups still maintaining their own traditional lifestyle by living in remote areas of the Copper Canyon located in the State of Chihuahua, Mexico. They are one of the designated National Treasures of Mexico. My talk detailed personal experiences with the weaver, Maria Elena, and my own necessary use of the massive blankets while traveling and camping in the high country of the Sierras Madre Tarahumara.

This link takes you to Maria Elena's demonstration of traditional blanket weaving among the Tarahumara (Raramuri):  Traditional blanket weaving

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Fires of the Tarahumara

"To the Circle of Fire;
those who have gone before,
those who are present,
and those who have yet to come."
From The Four Agreements
by Don Miguel Ruiz

Fire, one of the ancient world's five elements, can be heard, seen and felt.
And the ancient world is yet present here among us humans, in a great gathering, a celebration of the autumnal harvest season.
As darkness falls, the night air is clear, crisp and filled with anticipation.
Then comes Fire, drawing the community near for warmth and companionship;
Fire, illuminator of the night, quells fears shrouded in the darkness.
This night reflection of the fire is found in the hearts of "the People".
The flames & passion ignite the ecstasy of the dance.
Listen now through the veil of time.  Hear low voices speaking an ancient tongue, the cries and delight of children, the rolling laughter of the "the People" echoing out across the land on this night.

Yes, Miguel, Again!

"To the Circle of Fire;
those who have gone before,
those who are present,
and those who have yet to come."

This image is a distillation of a Tarahumara ritual celebration and a gift to me that I share with you- the viewer.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Haley-Henman Gallery Exhibit

The Haley-Henman Gallery Features
 Five Photographers

Kitty Alice Snead
David Clanton                 Lee Albert Hill
Alan Robertson               Brett Schneider

February 4-25, 2012
Opening Reception is Saturday, February 4 from 6:00 to 9:00 pm

The Haley-Henman Gallery is located at 2335 Hardwick Street Dallas, TX 75208
Gallery hours: Wednesday-Saturday, 12 noon to 5:00 pm and by appointment.
For appointment call: (214)749-1277
Contact person: John Marcucci, Gallery Director

The exhibition: Five Photographers, features the work by Kitty Alice Snead, David Clanton, Lee Albert Hill, Alan Robertson, and Brett Schneider. These photographers bring forth their individual talent and expertise in different ways.

Kitty Alice Snead began "Fire Light" in 2007 after establishing a rapport for ten years with the Tarahumara people of Northwestern Mexico.  These photographs occur on a moonless, spring night during their ritual celebration of Tutu Bur/Yumari. Using only the light from campfires and a fireball lantern, Ms. Snead moved about the dance and the women's circle all night long. From this extraordinary collection, the gallery presents a premier selection of six photographs.

David Clanton's images are the melding of disparate elements of metallic textures, reflecting surfaces of color, or facets of stone. His abstractions derive from eight or more layers of underlying images that boldly create balance, harmony and dimensionality that speak to our urban surfaces as a quality in need of discovery.

Lee Albert Hill presents works from his "Signal Series".  Using the theme of maritime signal flags used for visual communication between ships at sea and mid-20th century junk cars in the middle of West Texas, these composite photographs ask questions about our unsustainable past and how we move on to a new, sustainable future.

Alan Robertson's inspiration for his "Illumination Series" comes from George Eastman, who said, "Light makes photography. Embrace light. Admire it. Love it." In these new works, Mr. Robertson is drawn to the interplay between natural and enhanced light, particularly light fixtures and patterns of illumination.  How these patterns will change with new lighting technology is poignantly highlighted in the way Mr. Robertson points the lens to the grandeur of the architectural past.

Brett Schneider captures Texas landscapes emphasizing the power between sky and land. This relationship highlights the extremes in temperature and mood and adds to the speculation of how Texans are shaped by these extremes in the landscape.