Timothy White Eagle durational ritual at Downtown Park, Bellevue, Sept 18, 5-8pm by Mandy Greer

Tonight, Sept 18, from 5-8pm —on the eve of Yom Kippur—Ritualist and artist Timothy White Eagle will be performing a durational ritual, inhabiting the Formal Gardens of Downtown Park, Bellevue as part of my nightly meditation space “A Great Unbridgeable Distance”, commissioned by Bellwether2018 .

Formal Gardens (northeast corner of Bellevue Downtown Park, behind Mod Pizza)
10201 NE 4th St, Bellevue, WA 98004

Come sit and witness Timothy’s song with us, listen to the voices of the ancient forest — long extracted from this land — eat honey cake made by my friends and mentors, sew on Nothingness Baskets with us, as we think on atonement and sweetness.

Learn more about the entire series here.

Timothy writes about what energy he’ll be working tonight:

Songs for the No Longer Trees" will be a three-hour durational work offering ritual to and in consideration of the pre-history of the park land we will be seated on.

We will be set up in the grove inside the formal garden near the north east corner of the park (wander around in the north east, look for the bathroom signs, you will find us in the grove over there). In this special spot, artist Mandy Greer, has crafted a medicine room where Indigo, red, black and gold pulse. A simple space which will change your vibration.

Here in Mandy's room we will consider the past, seek atonement and eat honey cake. I hope you will join me for this unique afternoon in the park.

Bring whatever you need to make yourself comfortable in the park on an autumn evening. Come and go as you will. Bring your picnic or pillow. Sit back and I will tell you a story, or sing you a tone.

 ‘Songs for the No Longer Trees’, Timothy White Eagle

‘Songs for the No Longer Trees’, Timothy White Eagle

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Revealing more of what is behind this project……

… at its secret essence, is me sharing some coping mechanisms I’ve developed to manage and live with some deep dead-drops into depressions.    But my aim is to move beyond what I am periodically wrestling with, and just give space for people to compassionately  sit with themselves,   an opportunity to lovingly probe our dark places together, personally— as in depression/suicide/mental health concerns,  and societally — as in racism/ostracizing/erasure and environmental extraction and destruction.  All create chasms and walls between people.  I want to think about building tender bridges, even if shaky ones. 

To do this, I’ve asked a group of creators to be guides, Timothy and the other nightly guides — all people who have mentored me, healed me, to share what they do with anyone who cares to gather at a meditation space I’m creating at Downtown Park each evening, with long elm tables created from a split-open tree, and communal woven indigo mats.  Each evening, accompanying the guide’s work, will be hand-work meditations that visitors may choose to take part in, to release what they need to release in repetitive open-ended non-judgemental making. 

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 Sew onto Nothingness Baskets with us

Sew onto Nothingness Baskets with us


Ritualist Timothy White Eagle, will be singing on the evening — Sept. 18th — to the ancient forest that, up until the past 135 years or so, thrived on the land of the park for a thousand of years.  I realized, In the middle of Bellwether, synchronistically, falls the Jewish holy day of Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. (Sept 18th at sundown) While I am not Jewish, my son’s ancestors are, and I honor their perseverance to walk out of Russia, to Liverpool, and then to Seattle,  so I make kin with Jewish philosophical thought and recognize that ritualized atonement is healthy for the soul — amends are part of being a full human being, a part of flourishing, breaking bread with our imperfections and failings as part of who we are, of who all of us are.  

One image that has stuck in me during my research and deep sitting with this land, is the great decimated wasteland just after this ancient forest was extracted, powered by the extracted coal from coal pits of the area, the decimated millions of interrelated organisms, animals and human community that has lived in community with this forest for thousands of years, the living peoples of the Duwamish.  There is much to atone for. 

Historical shame and personal shame when ‘brought to light’, out of the private hidden space, have the possibility of shedding — of letting go of us.  I don’t know that this project will offer solutions, or even aim to, but it asks ‘can we try to move towards each other in honest embrace of all our failings?  Let’s take the first step.”  I want one night to make an offering to this idea of atonement, and its balancing ability to give health and sweetness to life.

Timothy and I decided to focus on Sweetness, more specifically bitter-sweetness.  In his rituals, he often ends with the eating berries, to honor that no matter what else we shoulder, there is always some sweetness to find.  This also echos a tradition of Yom Kippur, that on the eve of it, people ask a teacher or mentor or parent to make them a honey cake, as a way to honor that mentor. 

This ritualized asking for sweetness from someone who has already given you knowledge might seem counterintuitive to our larger transactional society.  But it is meant to remind one no matter how esteemed or high up one is, we all have the potential to need help and should be humble enough to ask for it.  It is a gift and a blessing when we are given the opportunity to help another, because we are reminded the bounty we each have is not created by us alone, but the result of an infinite network of support.  So being asked to make a honey cake is a symbolic gift of getting to share our bounty.


In humbling ourselves enough to ask for the cake, also gives the opportunity to know what it is like to be the one asking for help, that reaching out is a part of our interconnectedness.

Please learn more about Timothy’s generous and healing work. He’ll be creating a evening-length performance at On The Board this spring 2019.

  Jingle Dress,  Timothy White Eagle

Jingle Dress, Timothy White Eagle

Consuelo Gonzalez durational performance meditation at Bellwether, Mon Sept 17th and Wed 19th by Mandy Greer

 Consuelo Gonzalez

Consuelo Gonzalez

Movement artist, poet and healer Consuelo Gonzalez will be doing a performance meditation “Remembrance and Forgetting” tonight at Downtown Park, Bellevue, at the Formal Gardens in the northeast corner of the park, from 5-8pm, as part of Mandy Greer’s “A Great Unbridgeable Distance”. She will also return —if it doesn’t rain— on WED SEPT 19th. During her meditation, Fallow Collective will be non-verbally guiding visitors — who want to— to stitch onto ever expanding Nothingness Baskets, a form that came about as a personal coping mechanism for how to manage my own travels through dark internal places. The baskets are a place to compassionately sit with your own darkness, troubles and hidden concerns, and let them rest or leave them behind in the black hole baskets.

Formal Gardens (northeast corner of Bellevue Downtown Park)
10201 NE 4th St, Bellevue, WA 98004

As with all the performances, Bring a blanket, bring a picnic, rest, move, come and go as you please, participate or just watch.

See the full schedule of performances here

Anyone is invited to assemble around the rough hewn elm tables, and rest on the communally hand-woven indigo rugs, in this space held for contemplation and learning through hand-work. Together we’ll seek for a sense of place and history in our internal and external landscapes, making peace with our darkness both personally and societally, and pay homage to remembrances of the sweetness of life and the hard work of turning to the light.

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Consuelo’s movement forms will pull from a well of personal poetic language, sensing the energy of the site and environment, and interpreting and expanding on dramaturgical research I brought to her as my own responses to the layered histories embedded in the land of Downtown Park, asking questions through movement, ‘what does healing and recuperation look like?’. When can we forget and when can we never forget?

Downtown Park, particular to downtown Bellevue, seems to retain small clues to a sense of history and remembrance, unlike the rest of the dominant image of ‘New'. The central sentinel elms in the center of the park, planted in 1920 as a memorial to lost boys to war, the memorial benches decorated by families with flowers and garlands, the hidden plaque remembering the exile of Bellevue citizens of Japanese descent on May 20, 1942. Many quiet voices of memory, Consuelo will be teasing out and mixing with her own.

She’ll be inhabiting a Guide for Forgetting and Remembrance, covered in layers of tattered silk poppy fabric. Growing out of an earlier character I developed on a residency in Normany France, studying the memorials of war, the guide is a midwife of sorts covered in layers of decaying poppy flowers, to deal with grief, loss of a child, loss of purpose, but also something larger than that; the complex dance between forgetting and remembrance that the human spirit goes through to survive loss. There is so much devastation around us, the world is full of brokenness at all times, how could any of us go on without a little forgetting.

This guide inhabits the duality of meaning of the poppy, both a dominant image in remembrance of losses by war, but also an older connection with forgetting, with a connection to the hypnotic sleep of opiates, as the ancient Greeks portrayed the divinities Hypnos (Sleep), Nyx (Night), and Thanatos (Death) wreathed with poppies. The goddess Demeter was said to eat poppies to forget the loss of her daughter and fall asleep. The Greeks regarded it as magic or poison, used as medicine and in religious rites.

It seem some things are too much to bear, but societal forgetting is dangerous and cultural forgetting in the form of erasure and forced assimilation is reprehensible destruction.


Each night, during their time at the tables, the Guide’s ultimate goal is to nurture wellbeing — for visitors and particularly for themselves also— while enacting their durational tasks; to be responsive, compassionate, and aim to take risks and follow impulses. We will be Guides to help people practice quiet, productive, open-ended companionship — making space for unexpected companions.

More soon about the Nothingness Baskets…..come work on some tonight.

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What is the Hygeia Loom? Last day Communal Weaving at BAM, Sept 15, 12-3pm by Mandy Greer

Tomorrow is the last day to work on the Hygeia 5 person loom, in this iteration of it with my project “A Great Unbridgeable Distance. At Bellevue Arts Museum, 12pm - 3pm.

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Tonight, Paul and I ( 2/3rds of Fallow Collective) performed a bit of hand-work meditation with the loom at the Bellwether Opening, switching from using the loom as a teaching tool and a site of hands-on participation, to a site of opening and digging around for a personal rhythm of the body and hands in productive flow. As an artist, I’m always looking for full body movements where making becomes a kind of dance or song. It’s a very private playing, but tonight I let it unfold in public. It’s subtle, but I think for other people, watching someone else weave is soothing. Or watching someone do most anything with their hands — throw a pot, kneed bread, fold cloth or harvest vegetable — with the repetition, the hands with their own mind, find a dance.

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It reminded me of a conversation that happened around the loom at one of the Communal Weaving sessions, someone brought up about how some folk dance can be traced to the kind of labor often done in the community, and the dance is a way to heal or recuperate from that labor, to counteract the labor on the body and keep people healthy. This story and conversation is embedded in the weaving. So is my son listening to death metal. So is a mother taking a few moments to weave while her toddler hangs on the pegs, and two young sisters in a little competition about who could fill it faster. So is a dad teaching his daughter to tie a knot. So is my husband staying up watch all the seasons of ‘Survivor’ to get the weavings completed so we have them to use in our nightly performances. And many many other conversations, mundane and necessary have been woven in.


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One day weaving at BAM, a woman asked me kindly, “ so what is behind all of this, why are you doing this, what started it all.” I haven’t really explained much of that, except to anyone else but my collaborators I’m working with. Once the loom existed, it demanded action and to be set in motion. But to make it, I needed to know why.

It’s a long meandering story, because that’s all I seem to be able to do. But this woman graciously listened, and was excited to hear the rabbit warren of thoughts that brought me to the process, as most artists have a bizarre layer cake or what gets them to what finally gets made.

So on the eve of ending this process ( at least for these sky blue changing indigo mats), I thought I’d share, what is the Hygeia Loom, an excerpt from my dramaturgical research for this project.

It started with a drawing my child did as a toddler of us as a family of narwhals. Three whales of three sizes, swimming forward. One of his earliest recognizable drawings.



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And then seeing this Justin Gibbens’ painting, with Hazel, we both looked at each other and said “we have to buy this”. I had no money as I was preparing to travel to do a project and the funding had not come through. But I jumped at the chance to buy this painting with the last bit of room on my credit card, and I think I literally cried because I loved the painting so much…it felt like it was mine.


  Justin Gibbens , Monodons of the World Unite, 2013

Justin Gibbens, Monodons of the World Unite, 2013

I look at it everyday, and began to see it as this net of my family, that hold me up, or we all hold each other up when we need to, even if the net gets ripped or damaged. I would zone into the center of the pentagram as this powerful place.

I wanted to make a power object, something where other people could feel the strength that we all must provide for each other sometimes. Working together, Paul built the loom for me, like he always has when I have a bigger idea. Here’s how the loom came to be ——

During Bellwether, surrounding split-open blackened elm tables, for people to sit upon, will be layers of handwoven mats made of indigo-dyed blue fabric I’ve collected from my neighbors and friends, the color of water or the changing sky. These mats will be made upon a special communal peg loom I am building now, shaped with 5 sides referencing the central form of the the symbol Hugieia, meaning ‘soundness and wholeness’, for the minor Greek goddess Hygieia, who stood for health of the individual and also social welfare.

The symbol worked its way into my life with a bit of synchronicity; I impulsively bought a painting by Justin Gibbens of entwined narwhal whales whose horns form a hugieia, because my son had drawn our family as narwhals when he was a toddler. While none of this will register for anyone participating, the symbol has come to mean our support structure in my family of three, a net that I have broken, mended and fallen into in recent years of transitory health. The loom symbolizes the power and difficulty of asking for help when we are fragile, and how I now do most of my work as part of a collective of three. And building-in deeply personal symbology into my work - even the tools and processes — is what keeps me grounded in its purpose, something I have battled with the last few years, a need to maintain an awareness that my work should not be strip-mining my own body for the enjoyment of others, so the making of it becomes ritualized to support my need for this.

Weaving, usually a solitary act, this loom places people in a communion of sorts, like eating a meal, around the 5 foot longs sides. Creating this tool places me in a position to ask for help, an intentional practice and motif repeated in this process-based work. Throughout the summer, I’ll invite people to work with me in my studio on the loom, and bring it to both public and private locations to grow these mats. These forms are simple, functional and mundane but will require a great deal of labor - from the year long process to grow and create indigo dye, to my dyeing the fabric, the weaving of many people, even the making of the discarded textiles of nameless workers that I then cut apart. They might be seen as a minor role in the structure of this multi-night performative project, but that humbleness is the essence of what I want people to take note of.

Dyeing indigo is an alchemical-like process with a substance that is more like sourdough than paint— it must be nurtured and coaxed and rested. It’s a living culture and dipping the fabric in requires you to hold your breath and observe the bubbles going in, and the subtle changes of color to know when the bath needs to rest — it’s own kind of meditation. The importance of Indigo spans many cultures, and is both viewed as a sacred plant, and also has associations with manual laborers, as blue farmer and factory dungaree work clothes were once dyed with indigo.

I began indigo dyeing collected fabric from neighbors when I did a residency in Fiskars, Finland — the site of the original 1600’s irons works that produced the scissors. Living in former worker housing, I built a hanging loom out of downed trees from the forest, and asked my neighbors tohelp me weave a sail in a participatory installation, for a project called “We have rowed this boat together.” A reference to past labor performed, of an awareness that human community is necessary for the survival of all of us, and we all have a valued role to play. I see my hugieia loom as a continuation of this work.

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More about all the parts of “A Great Unbridgeable Distance” soon….

To see the schedule of events go here.

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'A Great Unbridgeable Distance' at Bellwether Festival, Sept 14-23rd, 2018 by Mandy Greer

 

A Great Unbridgeable Distance will be a series of nightly durational-performance meditations in garden spaces in Downtown Park, guided by a transdisciplinary cohort of guides brought together and costumed by artist Mandy Greer and Fallow Collective.  Anyone is invited to assemble around the rough hewn elm tables, and rest on the communally hand-woven indigo rugs, in this space held for contemplation and learning through hand-work.  Together we’ll seek for a sense of place and history in our internal and external landscapes, making peace with our darkness both personally and societally, and pay homage to remembrances of the sweetness of life and the hard work of turning to the light.  Over the course of 10 evenings, a non-linear narrative of loss, regret, shame and also of resiliency, wonder and resistance will be woven together for those who come to participate in any way they desire.  Through simple but poetic shared meaningful experiences, all who gather will be guided towards bridging the distances between ourselves and our other companions on this earth.  

 A Great Unbridgeable Distance, 2018

A Great Unbridgeable Distance, 2018

a project by Mandy Greer and Fallow Collective

Time & Place

Fri, Sept 14, 6-9pm and Sat, Sept 15, 12-3pm
Bellevue Arts Museum
510 Bellevue Way NE, Bellevue, WA 98004

MON, Sept 17 – Sun, Sept 23, 5-8pm
Formal Gardens (northeast corner of Bellevue Downtown Park)
10201 NE 4th St, Bellevue, WA 98004

In the event of rain, nightly performances in the park will be postponed and shifted to another evening of Bellwether

Full Schedule

Fri, Sept 14, 6-9pm: ‘Individual and Communal well-being are woven together’ on the Hygeia Communal Weaving Loom (at Bellevue Arts Museum)


Sat, Sept 15, 12-3pm at BAM: Hygeia Communal Weaving Loom


Sun, Sept 16, 5-8pm: CANCELED due to forcasted thundershowers


Mon, Sept 17, 5-8pm: Remembrance and Forgetting’ with movement artist Consuelo Gonzalez ( re-scheduled from 9/16)


Tue, Sept 18, 5-8pm: ‘Atonement and Ancient Sweetness: Giving Breath to the Song in the leaves of the Ancient Forest’ with ritualist Timothy White Eagle


Wed, Sept 19, 5-8pm: ‘Translation, mistranslation, mediating between inner and outer worlds’ with movement artist Consuelo Gonzalez


Thur, Sept 20, 5-8pm: ‘Wonder and Resilience: honoring hidden memories in the land, reintegrating what we ostracize’ with dance makers Alyza DelPan-Monley and Lorraine Lau


Fri, Sept 21, 5-8pm: ‘The Sacred and Extractive bound together’ with Mandy Greer and Fallow Collective


Sat, Sept 22, 5-8pm: ‘Wonder and Resilience: There is no one who is outside the human community’ with dance makers Alyza DelPan-Monley and Lorraine Lau


Sun, Sept 23, 5-8pm: ‘In fallow fields there are seeds that still grow rebellious’ with Mandy Greer and Fallow Collective

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Stay tuned for more information about my upcoming project for Bellwether 2018, in Bellevue Washington.  Join my mailing list for announcements about each night's performance or return here for on-going updates in the next few weeks!

Learn about all the events for Bellwether 2018.

 

'Bonds' II: Full Moon at Volunteer Park, Aug 18, 5-8:15pm by Mandy Greer

Fallow Collective presents the second edition of ‘Bonds’, an in-city family residency that will take place in a series of public leisure sites around Seattle this summer.

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Join in this performance of ‘Bonds’ on a picnic blanket in Volunteer Park. You will find us in a small grassy field, just west of the Seward statue, in front of the Conservatory.  1402 E Galer St, Seattle, Washington 98112

This edition of Bonds falls on the full moon, and also on the 12th anniversary of when one Fallow Collective member began feeding another Fallow Collective member (....my milk came in, after giving birth two days before). To celebrate the cycles of fertility we ALL were born of and our connection to this celestial orb, we'll be offering you 'moon bread' and red velvet cake!

To give back to the cycles of fertility, we are asking you to bring menstrual supplies that will be donated to All Cycles, an outreach project that provides support for menstruating folks who are homeless. http://allcycles.org/

The work doesn’t get done without you.

Like last time, help create weavings on the bodies of Fallow Collective artists.
We'll have additional circle weavings set up so you can put on your own fingers to see what it's like. It's wonderful.

Feed yourself with Fallow Collective home-made bread and experimental desserts.
Feed us while our hands are tied up in the mode of production.
Experience the pleasure of making, giving and receiving, in a no-goal, no-skill, no-judgement framework bolstered by the energy of hands in motion together.

Bread, Fruit, Flowers, Desserts, Risk, Vulnerability, Companionship and Touch will be available on the picnic blanket from about 5-8:15pm (at sunset). All are welcome, All ages. You are welcome to bring your own blanket, and things to share. Come rest with us, linger, pass the time, make, eat.

Images from last month's 'Bonds' at Cal Anderson Park!

'Bonds' at Cal Anderson Park, July 28th, 5-8pm by Mandy Greer

Fallow Collective presents ‘Bonds’, an in-city family residency that will take place in a series of public leisure sites around Seattle this summer.

Join in the inaugural performance of ‘Bonds’ on a picnic blanket somewhere on the north-east edge of Cal Anderson Park.   1711 12th Ave, Seattle, Washington 98122

The work doesn’t get done without you.

Help create weavings on the bodies of Fallow Collective artists.
Feed yourself with Fallow Collective home-made bread and experimental desserts.
Feed us while our hands are tied up in the mode of production.
Experience the pleasure of making, giving and receiving, in a no-goal, no-skill, no-judgement framework bolstered by the energy of hands in motion together.

Bread, Fruit, Flowers, Desserts, Risk, Vulnerability, Companionship and Touch will be available on the picnic blanket from about 5-8pm. All are welcome, All ages. You are welcome to bring your own blanket, and things to share. One Fallow Collective artist will set Pokémon lures. Come rest with us, linger, pass the time, make, eat.

#fallowcollective


Fallow Collective places itself at odds with the dominate narrative of the art world for the maternal artist, that residencies = no children allowed, that children are a distraction, that studio time = ignoring your child.

Fallow Collective chips away at the frustrations that the maternal artist must choose between studio time or having friends, must choose between studio time or spending time with your partner and family, choose between childcare costs and participating in cultural events, choose between drinking with other artists or being alert to care for children. Fallow Collective rejects that the maternal desire to be near your child is at odds with studio practice, that maternal desire is only of importance/of consequence to a maternal audience and that care-taking is of little value to the art world unless done by a man…..all this we aim to resist even as we acknowledge the times it feels true. We aspire to a shift. A shift where the maternal is not hidden behind an artist identity, a shift where the artist mother is visible, is not swallowed whole by the dominant culture’s notion of what the maternal should be.

Visibility is a political position. Fallow is what happens when ‘production’ slows , but health and fertility returns. The Un-health of capitalism only views the artist as ‘productive’ when they are churning out luxury goods to be bought and sold on a rarefied market.

Fallow Collective takes its cue from a lineage of relational and maternal aesthetics. Not presenting a fantasy or imagined vision of reality, but an actual mode of living and plan for taking action within the world as it is, even on the smallest scale of a social picnic. Rather than viewer and object, meaning is held and passed between all parties involved collectively.

What is Fallow Collective? by Mandy Greer

Fallow Collective is an incubator and laboratory of an inter-generational core group of artists consisting of Mandy Greer, Hazel Margolis and Paul Margolis, who together --thicker than water and thicker than thieves-- create installation, performance and media works.  Primarily generating works through an on-going series of 'family-in-residence' projects, both independently generated and supported by traditional residency programs, Fallow Collective challenges and upends the arbitrary boundaries between art-making, leisure, care-taking, family and exploration.

Varma Steam, 2014, Archival Inkjet on watercolor paper.  Created during Iceland Winter Residency, funded by Artist Trust/The Dale and Leslie Chihuly Foundation Arts Innovator Award