First 48 Hours at Shiro Oni Studios

IMG_0007_2My first artist residency and already I’m loving just one more reason to be an artist! Onishi, in Gunma Prefecure, Japan is a very small town just outside Tokyo. Easy to get here by train, bus and/or car for a quick day trip yet still seems to be untouched by the big city life.

That evening the community got together for Taiko Drumming practice in anticipation of the upcoming Summer Festival here July 12 & 13. I was allowed to join in but my practice was limited to drumming on an old tire like the very young children in the room. They gave me a chance and made me feel welcome. All day the next day as I came across residents who were at the community center the night before, they were encouraging me to keep practicing, がんばって!

IMG_0009  The next morning a local coffee shop had a big projection screen set up and was ready serving waffles and drinks to the fans who came by to watch the World Cup match between Japan and the Netherlands. We all cheered for Japan, yet surprisingly there was a guy from the Netherlands here representing Orange.

Since my second day here was almost half over and I had yet to get any work done in my studio, I couldn’t stay to watch the end of the game.

IMG_0010_2Jumped right into my work with the biggest yarn using my biggest crochet hook. I’m about a third of the way finished with the main framework in which all of the other detail pieces will be attached. It’s those details that will take the longest to complete.

What am I creating? Electric Butterflies: The Demise and Disposal of the Electronic Personality. A technological reclamation art installation project combining metals and fibers. Much of both the metals and the fibers will be crocheted with varying pieces of a killed laptop worked with in the piece. The neon butterflies represent the personality, the energy, or the soul that escapes as the computer died. Showing it’s guts asks us to carefully dispose of the electronic body much as we carefully handle our loved ones or even our enemies who have died. In death, our electronics still contain the potential to harm.

IMG_0001  Open Studio to see my art installation Electric Butterflies will be during the July Summer Music Festival, Sat the 12 & Sunday the 13. You are welcome to stop by Kotoriya Studio here at Shiro Oni to see my progress through Sat, June 28 or follow me on Instagram at Studio Deanna.

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