Saturday, October 15, 2016

Cardinal Progress and Work

I did it. I got the armature built for my Cardinal dress. It’s not a pretty sight, it’s not completely finished and it’s going to take a lithe woman (or man) to wear it, but I am really pleased with it’s shape and strength.
As I have said here before: Nothing I do is researched. Nothing. I just start with an idea in my head and by trial and error I arrive at what I want. I had no idea going into this dress that I would build the armature with coat hangers.
Today I will sheath the armature in a way that satisfies my eye and then coat that sheath with the feathers I make — nice bright shiny red feathers. I can hardly wait to do the feathering; I have to design them, make a template and then cut out zillions of them.
Then I have to decide how best to attach them to the substrate on the armature. I do not yet know what that substrate is going to be. But once I get it the substrate on, I’ll post a photo because then it will be possible to see the shape — and for this dress, it’s all about the shape.
Cardinals are beautiful sleek proud birds and I wanted to capture that pride in this “dress” that’s more a costume than a dress.
My friend Margot is hot to see my dresses become a show. If that happens, I know what I will do. I will hire Dwight to make me wooden hangers for them. I have a vivid idea of how I would want them displayed should a show happen.
The dresses would be suspended on the forms I envisage and the accessories would be wall mounted with for each dress, would be letter from its imagined owner. The conceit would be that the curator has asked each woman to send an email or a written note telling a story about the dress — why it was bought, where it was worn or of something personal that happened whilst worn.
Alternatively, I have ideas about how they could be incorporated into a show that I would do in the PAL theatre where I did my first show. I love that space and doing a show means income and a recouping of my costs.
I’ve decided to end, or at least seriously reduce, my physiotherapy at the end of this month. I’ll miss talking to Christopher but it costs four hundred dollars a month and the speech therapy is going to add more therapeutic expense.
I think I’m going to cancel my cable TV, too. I just can’t engage with broadcast television and it, too, is expensive. Neither am I attracted to most movies but when I went to The Dressmaker I picked up a brochure of the broadcast schedule of the Bolshoi, National Theatre and Metropolitan Opera broadcasts that are coming to theatres this Fall/Winter season. Now these are things I could watch.
Reading is not going well with me, either. I stopped reading Jonathan Franzen’s The Corrections on page 121. I will likely go back and I like the writing, but reading doesn’t compare to making dresses with Netflix or great music on in the background, food in the fridge and New Yorkers to read during breaks.
I had an interesting serendipitous experience. I was asked to do an asthma survey for UBC and I was (politely) critical of some of the questions. I pointed out their ambiguity to the supervisor in a helpful (and not a bitchy) spirit. There were quite a few and she was seemed grateful for my feedback.
The questionnaire of which I was critical had questions like this: “During the past six months, were you admitted to hospital?”
What they meant to ask was: “During the past six months, were you admitted to hospital due to your asthma or asthma-related conditions?”
In two places, they were asking compound questions. And in all their questions about compliance with medications and treatments, every single question assumed the only reason a patient would not take them was due to forgetfulness. The only reason I don’t take my medications, I told them, is when I am too tired. I never forget.
So they’ve hired me to help with the current survey on which they are working. I go in on Monday.

Please God, let me evolve to this (but make that a
joint in the cigarette holder).

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