Ever Onward

Has it been a month since I've written a blog post? For any of my blogs? Every day is filled with happenings worthy of a post. Instead of posting, I write pages of lists and notes and ideas in wide-ruled composition notebooks. Carry one with me all the time.
The subject is always 'Finding Our Way', the photographic installation that Patsy and I will show at FotoFest's Talent in Texas VI from October 8 - November 14, 2015. And yes, the venue is confirmed. We will show in a corridor of Silver Street Studios gallery space. There is work to be done. And funds to be raised.
Patsy and I meet every week and are searching through dozens of contact sheets and long ago prints. Which ones will be used? How will we use them? As magnets on refrigerator doors? As projections on a swath of floating fabric? On a wall with dozens of framed imaged interspersed with mirrors?And what meaning do these images have? And can we show how we played together as we photographed?  As we tramped about wearing nothing but knee high boots, tripods slung over our shoulders? On and on. We both have ideas for the installation and they are going on a big sheet of brown butcher paper in no order or hierarchy. At some point, we'll have to place these ideas in the venue. Sooner than later, and probably with many revisions.
Seven days a week, I work compulsively on this project that is becoming ever bigger. NO, NOT BIGGER. Not bigger than 2009's 'Second Seating', not bigger than the long-ago 1985 'Silicon Stones' at Houston Center for Photography. All are of similar scope. This current project, like the others, simply needs an admin assistant on board. Because the devil is always in the details. There is so much stuff that must not fall through the cracks. There are so many people with whom to keep in touch or to whom questions must be addressed. The biggest question is always, as Cindy used to say, 'Did we move the meter today?"
I remember my friend Sally's enquiry about four months before the opening of 'Second Seating', "How's the art coming?" My answer? "The art? I'm still raising money so art can be made."  I might add that art for 'Second Seating' was to be installed in a very unlikely space that demanded electrical circuitry on the ceiling, a City of Houston occupancy permit and more than a few interior walls built and painted. And so it goes, once again.
The Silver Street Studio exhibition space is vast and very white and must be broken up visually to give our images a sense of intimacy. The costs of printing long-ago photos in new ways will cost several thousands of dollars. Matting and framing, affixing murals to walls and projecting a specific image on to a great swath of fabric suspended from the ceiling - well, it all has a cost. One knows this going into a project and yet, one is also in denial. It always works out. And I am always in a breathless mode throughout.
Already asking friends to take on specific jobs. And many friends have generously offered their help and expertise without an ask. I am grateful to all. One friend will keep the financial books and assist with assembling a timeline outlining the contributions of Texas women who've enriched our collective story. Two friends agreed to moderate the round table discussions that are an integral part of this installation. Yet another friend asked us to submit a proposal for financial assistance to her family's foundation. Gladly. Another friend looked at my initial numbers and gently asked me, as I knew he would, to put them in income and expense columns, so I can better understand them. Still another friend, who is notably good with spread sheets, is taking these cost estimates for producing images, building gallery space dividers, promoting the exhibition and funding the round tables discussions and for unimagined expenses sure to surface - yes, she is taking all of this information and tallying it on perfect spread sheets. Once I see these spread sheets, I will temporarily panic and then, become ever more tenacious in raising the dollars needed to create what we envision.  It is always thus.
Patsy continues to say, "Small." And I continue to see this vast white space and envision what it will take to bring it under our spell.
We know our images have power. We know that women will be moved by them and there will be countless stories to share. And we will persevere.

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