the traveling tap
Last October I got an idea for an Instagram series: send my tapestries to different people around the world to be Instagrammed. Something about the idea of letting go of my work, eventually to total strangers four, five, six degrees separated from me, both enthralled me and terrified me. But I had to let go and trust that things would work out for the best. For all I knew, the tapestries would be gone forever. And I was prepared for that. So far I’ve sent two out; one I’ve lost control over, and the other I’m still not ready to completely let go of. So that one goes and comes back. I have three left with me. Still mine.
A few days ago over lunch I was asked by my two companions why I would choose to have people take pictures of my works in different locations; one asked out of intrigue, the other out of dubious curiosity. He just couldn’t get it. I didn’t have to think hard for the answers but I realized that the reasons are many. They still flow in days after that lunchtime inquisition. And these are my reasons in no particular order:
1. Pure self-indulgence.
2. Cutting out the middle-man/woman/men/women. Why do I have to wait for me to talk to my people to talk to their people when all I want is for people to see my work?
3. The tapestries are easy to carry so present no real hardships for their traveling companions (OK they’re meters long and a pain to fold but so what.) They are versatile and fun and the person who has one owns it for the duration he has it. That can only be a good thing!
4. For many reasons, it’s hard for me to travel. So these works travel for me. When my tapestry is in Cairo, a piece of me is in Cairo. When she’s in California, I’m there too.
5. I think the same people who love collecting stamps, magazines, watering cans, etc are the same sort of people who love to create series on Instagram. I’m a total series Instagrammer. So the idea of the traveling tapestry fits beautifully within that frame of thinking.
These are just five reasons. I’m sure there are more that I’ve forgotten here. The series has just taken off so is still in its infancy. I just hope that my tapestries go far.