If you are interesting in hearing a beautiful interview about art, making, makers and “lap arts” I think that you’ll enjoy Ann Hamilton’s interview from On Being. Just click the link above.
MS. HAMILTON: I was very close with my grandmother. And you know, I have really distinct bodily memories of sitting next to her on the couch. You know, when you’re little and you kind of get in that space under her arm and her arms were full. And, we would knit, or needlepoint, and she would read. And I think there’s something about the rhythm of the hands being busy and then your body falls open to absorb and concentrate on what you’re listening to, but not completely, because you have two concentrations. And then from that, that sort of cultivates a kind of attention. That is the rhythm of those two things together. So the unfolding of the voice in space, and then the material accreting under your hand, and they have really different satisfactions. You know, you can see the material, and…
[later on in the interview]
MS. HAMILTON: Making by hand, and that was tremendously comforting.
MS. TIPPETT: You also said this lovely thing that textiles are the first house of the body.
MS. HAMILTON: Yeah.
MS. TIPPETT: The first, what do you say? The first — the body’s first…
MS. HAMILTON: Architecture.
MS. TIPPETT: …extension.
MS. HAMILTON: Yeah. It’s like, you know, it’s that question, but like, how do we know things? And that we grow up or we’re educated in a world that ascribes a lot of value to those things that we can say or name. And, but they’re all these hundreds of ways that we know things, through our skin, which is the largest organ of our body. And, so, you know, my firsthand is that textile hand, and text and textiles are woven always, experientially for me. And then, I think that when I first started making things out of cloth, it was like it was another skin. So I was thinking about it as an animate surface, and thinking about it as something that both covers and reveals. And, it’s…
MS. TIPPETT: And you also draw this notion of threads, that there’s threads of sewing, and threads of ideas.
MS. HAMILTON: Yeah.
MS. TIPPETT: Lines of speech.
MS. HAMILTON: Right.
MS. TIPPETT: And the weaving that happens with both words and substances like that.
MS. HAMILTON: Yeah, and that’s ancient. That is like the origins are in those — the thread pulled from the body in so many cultures or this — something across space and time. You know, when you’re reading a book, you’re immersed, and you’re both inside that book, and you’re far away in the world that it might take you to.