One of my favorite things about the creative process is synchronicity. I follow intuition above all else in my art making and find myself continually rewarded by the ways that relationships I never could have dreamed up appear all of a sudden.

Until recently I was planning on making a piece called Don’t Suck! Cycle II as part of a four month residency at CounterPULSE in San Francisco. The recent deaths of my close friend Sharon and my grandmother moved me to reflect on and reorganize all aspects of my life. I’ve shifted my creation plans to making a work inspired by my friendship with Sharon, called Friend.

In the original plans with Don’t Suck!, one of the things we were going to be exploring was working with interactive metal sculptures designed and created by ensemble member Mickey Kay. These were going to be things that each of the contestants in our mock reality TV show would compete on–seeing who could interact with the sculptures in the most innovative and compelling ways.

When we shifted the plans for the piece to work with what I’m learning from the loss of this very important friendship, I realized that the metal sculptures made more sense than ever. Sharon was always a creative and artistic soul, picking up interesting found objects on the trails she walked, and creating paintings, collages and all sorts of artworks throughout her life. In the last 10 years of her life, she had become very involved with welding and metal sculpture. She spent a good deal of time at the Crucible, an Oakland metal-work community, and was committed to developing her welding skills as much as she could.

When her brain tumor related symptoms became too intense a few years ago, she had to stop welding completely, and then her love of metal-work led her to making small wire sculptures. Mickey’s welding projects (and some experiments I’m doing with using thin wire to make small objects we’ll use in performance) seem to be riding on Sharon’s spirit and artistic visions.

This kind of unplanned confluence gives me great faith in the artistic process, and immediate confidence in the direction we’re moving in with this project.

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