Archive for category South Louisiana
My favorite thing about Mardi Gras is the communal creative spirit it conjures. In New Orleans and most of South Louisiana there’s an air of frenzied energy around. It usually (for me) starts right around the beginning of the New Year and then, depending on how early or late Mardi Gras falls, builds up steam until Mardi Gras day in February or March. It’s such a delight to build costumes, headpieces and throws for the simple purpose of sharing wonder and joy.
Art. After art comes the art of business. Is it wrong to mix the two? People build somewhat sustainable careers from this marriage. I think I can do that. However…to more effectively do that I need to make some changes….
Feeling more introverted the last few days, not the same as the weeks before when I was so eager to talk to more humans about new things other than the current things discouraging the human I am and the humans I know. I’m almost constantly thinking about and almost constantly discussing the strangeseriousangering situation unfolding. I couldn’t possibly have predicted this. We couldn’t possibly have known. That isn’t it. I wish that was it. I fall to being dangerously empathetic and forget myself and my family. I remember my family and the gears start to move. Yesterday we spoke of almost nothing but the levee vs. oil & gas industry suit. I become empowered and went inward to think it over. I’ve emerged with a plan. The alignment of my immediate misfortune and the actions moving forward to battle the larger misfortune of my beloved Louisiana (what it represents to me, at least) are sparking inspiration. I know what to do and where to get the answers. All its going to take is me going and doing.
So many mountain drives. We are small and it is amazing. The vastness of the planet and the fortune of freedom of mobility in it is conjuring some wonderful art output. My editing techniques are sharpening and I’m able to make incredible progress in shorter amounts of time. Still, slow moving because of all the trying to figure out the strangeseriousangering. But the thing remains, and practice makes perfect.
And apparently I say “like” a lot during interviews. Like, I really don’t recall saying that I, like, really want people to just love my movies. I mean, like, maybe I do, but like, why would a person ever admit that?
Whatever it is people are going to think about people, they’ve probably already decided. Probably decided when they first heard that thing about that thing you did or maybe did. Or they decided way back in childhood. Or when you stepped into the room or they saw you at that place. Whatever it is I think they’re going to think, I’m going to not worry.
We are above and beneath the rocks. Stand clear.
Updated ART OF THE BAYOU some more.
Oh, how this precious project is growing!
…and there’s always room for more.
Pictured above is Amelia Kassel, a Chitimacha woman, mother to Daisy Brady (Leblanc, Banzhoff) and grandmother to Ivy Rose Leblanc Lind (my maternal grandmother).
This connection to some of Louisiana’s first settlers invokes a sort of dizzying feeling and makes the feelings I’ve always had about the natural wonder of this place somehow mean something more. I need to learn more.
I had the pleasure of capturing this impromptu performance of Jambalaya (On the Bayou) by Deacon John and Brent Melacon during Louisiana Citizens for the Arts’ 2012 Arts Advocacy Day in the Louisiana State Capitol building.
“Art WORKS for Louisiana!”
Swamp-dwellers, bayou-keepers and guardians of a vanishing language guide this journey through the past, present and potential futures of South Louisiana. Shrimp-boats with flags proclaiming allegiance to the Shrimp and the State drift slowly into focus; rocking with the weight of a family stacked four generations deep. Mutant creatures choking in a toxic stew of ancient remains bob into view as the hypnotic mermaid performs her siren song, lulling us deep into her underwater realm. Is this our future, are we the next Atlantis? We brush against a suffocating web of pipelines transporting the blood of the earth. Joyful gatherings ascend the sticky grasp of reality. Pristine wetlands born of ancient deltas are juxtaposed against modern canal-cut acreage. Skeletal cypress stands dot the horizon, bleached white in dark water glowing with a now-familiar sheen. The oily fingerprint of progress stamps out the view of delicate birds drifting through storms- natural and man-made. Ghostly outlines of South Louisiana melt into the void. We question how it got so bad as quickly as we return to our memories of better days….quietly searching for the survival solution.
Living away from Louisiana for most of the year has really made me appreciate the things that I once took for granted about my home state. Today I’m putting the finishing touches on my Mardi Gras day costume (still deciding on a color for it), made from paper “flowers” from my installation at the Voodoo Ballerina Kingcake Soiree. I feel so lucky to live in such a magical place, where its perfectly normal to spend hours working on a grand costume for a Tuesday morning in New Orleans.