Friday, May 9, 2008


For those that don’t know, I interned with Susan Lordi Marker my senior year of college, who is just about the sweetest and most generous woman I’ve ever met, an incredible textile fine artist as well as the designer of the Willow Tree line for Demdaco. I worked with her on her textiles, some roughs for her new Willow Tree line, did indigo dye and held my senior thesis show in her space. She is amazing and I still can’t thank her enough! Anyhow, she loved my dreads and her new figure, Blessings, is modeled off me. So that’s my moment of stardom! I worked some on others, and thank my Auntie Lillian and Uncle Ernie for modeling for the Anniversary piece. The whole line is great, thank you so much Susan! (thats the Willow Tree mini me on the right)

Speaking of last year, whoa! It’s so crazy to think that this time last year Ashley’s senior show, Chromatic Movements in Structure, had just passed, we were setting up my senior show, Whorl, For Those Dear, and getting ready to graduate! It’s so crazy and doesn’t feel like it’s been that long at all. I remember going to all my fellow fiber gal’s and other’s shows, the fireworks in the crossroads district, how Ashley and I got all dolled up, Kay’s painting of that night, all the last minute craziness that graduating entails, and then nearly my whole crazy family flying out to the middle of America for me! Oh it was so awesome. (below are four of my favorite ladies; Susan, Michele, Pauline and Ashley at her show-notice the chromatic movements goin on in the background)

But right now I’m here, and okay with it. I reminiscing and missing but in that remember why I came and that the difficulty is where it needs to be. Despite all my frustrations with the Cooperative, and Morocco in general, if I can read my thesis and still feel it has truth then I know I’m not all jaded and that there is work and a reason for me here.

(above is me setting up my show)

Thesis Statement-

To realize the interconnectedness of Nature, a task too great to fully comprehend, one must develop her own method for working toward the holistic vision. I conclude my time at this institution, and begin my life beyond, with weaving as the greatest metaphor for this interconnectedness. All life is composed of interactions, essentially, the relationship between one element and another. This interaction of elements is process, a seeming chaos without direction, sustained by faith in a foreseen outcome. From chaos to order and back again, the infinite dance. A mess of fibers, combed and drawn together to form one strand, then into a snarl of many strands. These threads are then brought to order in the case of a warp, and further, relate to a weft to form a complete whole, a woven piece.

The metaphor continues as these objects are brought to a new context, for a new purpose. I find that the elements of importance in my life are far simpler and more obvious than ever before, and bring my work to this place. These scarves are given as gifts to certain members of my web of relations. Worn around the neck, an unconscious reminder of connections, disguised as a practical item of body wear for warmth and comfort. I am left with the satisfaction of bringing to the physical world a metaphorical representation of my mind’s sauntering about the workings of the natural world. As naivety grows toward wisdom, so do seemingly unconnected elements grow toward a working unit. A lesson for the future, that every knot may someday become a part of a smooth cloth. That every strand, no matter how small, plays an active role in creating a whole. No element anywhere, no matter how lonely, is by itself. This is my whorl.

And the letter attached to each piece-

May 18, 2007

For those dear,

One day this past September, frustrated and exhausted by my major, and art in general, I sat down at a little loom I had borrowed but never used. I tied on six yards and began to weave. After the first yard or so I stopped caring about what it would be, or what it would mean, or what purpose it would serve. For three hours I just wove. As I wove I was allowed time to relax and reflect. I was at the beginning of my last year of college, had decided to apply for the Peace Corps, and had lost all passion and interest in art.

I began to imagine what life in the Peace Corps would be like, of walking into a completely foreign community, and becoming a part of a new family. This led me to think about my own family, and how close they are to me, though we remain miles apart. The funny thing about goodbyes is, as we all know, they make us thankful for what we have. It is easy to put on hold those we claim to love and care about the most because they always seem to be there. Knowing I am leaving for 27 months has caused me to realize how much I will miss what has always been around me. I had just as easily forgotten the essentials of art, the making. In the frustrating search for meaning in what I made, I had forgotten the making. The product, the purpose, the image, none of it mattered anymore. As I wove I allowed myself to simply enjoy the way fibers and colors come together.

While sitting at the loom, I began to explore the connections between passions, and realized I could have the best of both worlds. I have tried to keep things and I have tried to sell things, but the only satisfaction comes from giving things away. I could work on color and material combinations in the process of weaving, with the end result being a gift for someone else. For those dear to me.

I am not joining the Peace Corps to serve others; I am joining to engage in the global community through the exchange of gifts. Gifts of culture and knowledge and tolerance; peace and happiness cannot exist in the world without smiles and small gifts being continuously shared and passed along. One frown, one lost life, is a broken thread in the woven fabric of life. You all make up the whorl nearest me, and as I step into the next network I will be prepared by carrying the lessons from my life here with all of you.

Giving is never a one sided act. I could say giving is what brings the greatest satisfaction, but it is in the receiving, of smiles and love, that I am truly interested and thankful. Like people, these scarves will grow softer the more they are worn.

I love you all so much, and please enjoy,

Briana Godfrey

(if you want to see pictures I guess you have to be on Facebook, the links I put on here keep expiring and I don’t know of an easier site to post on, sorry!)

1 comment:

linsey said...

some inspiring words for all of us here (it almost made me cry). all i have to say is... agadir, here we come:)