Lifeguard in the Snow

…for my husband and I, this is our first winter on the East Coast of Canada with two young children. As the first real snow of the season fell this past Sunday morning, I realized that my in the wintertime my craft skills put me in a comparable position to an off-duty lifeguard at the beach. Might sound strange at first, but give me a minute!

As our young children – 3 and 7 years old – rolled around in the snow and slid head first down snow banks, I felt an urgent need – no A CALL – to make them warmer, wider, thicker scarves and hats. I felt that I HAD to – to protect them. If I didn’t know how to knit, I would likely have headed up to the mall and picked them up a fleece set at the children’s store (their Vancouver Island ‘winter’ hats were simply no match for this weather), but I couldn’t – I KNOW HOW to make something that is BETTER, can protect their little faces from frost-bite BETTER then anything at the store. It’s my responsibility to save them IMMEDIATELY – well, their skin at least! (Forgive me, I have always had a bit of a flare for the dramatic, but please trust me that the responsibility I felt to begin knitting immediately was very real.)

So you see, just like the off-duty lifeguard who was just trying to enjoy a lazy day at the beach but was compelled to help a swimmer in distress, I was simply looking to enjoy the magic of this first snow fall when duty called! I have the skills – so – like my grandmother and mother before me – knit I shall…

Lifeguard in the snow

From some recent readings…

The following are a few excerpts from readings that I have been doing recently. They resonate with me powerfully at this point in my research and I would like to include them here. Perhaps what these authors/artists have to share might inform future thinking about my work, I don’t know.
All of these quote are found in Graeme Sullivan’s text ART PRACTICE AS RESEARCH: Inquiry in Visual Arts
David Thomas, PhD (2007)
‘Art practice is a way of researching through the practice of making art. Such making is not just doing, but is a complex informed physical, theoretical and intellectual activity where private and public worlds meet. Art practice is the outcome of intertwined objective, subjective, rational and intuitive processes. Considered in this way, art is a discipline, informed by the conceptual and linguistic conventions of its culture and history.’ (p.81)
Maarit Makela and Sara Routarinne, PhDs (2006)
‘In established fields of research, making is generally regarded as consequent to thinking-at least in theory…in the field of practice-led research, praxis has a more essential role: making is conceived to be the driving force behind the research and in certain modes of practice also the creator of ideas.’ (p.22)
Graeme Sullivan
‘[…] studio practice is a central site where visual arts research takes place. The studio is a place of inquiry that is not bounded by walls or removed from the daily grind of everyday life. Furthermore, studio art experiences include the full range of ideas and images that inform individual, social, and cultural actions. These may raise issues that take place within the community or within the institutional setting, and these inquiries can move within and across different subject areas. Only when these issues are closely examined and the argument are sufficiently viable to withstand scrutiny might it be possible to appreciate the phenomena that we see in studios where artist and viewers can be transformed by their encounters with visual arts. (p. 72)

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