Sunday, March 27th 2016 I'll be performing a set at the reception for Wynde Dyer's art show, "Sharing the Scraps." Wynde's work and process have touched me and inspired me, so I wanted to take time to share that with you all and also to give you an understanding of what this show is really about, for me: artistic process and community.
Wynde is a process-based artist, meaning the process of creating the work is as significant, and as much a part of the work, as the physical piece itself. For example, one of her shows involved shredding her childhood photos and sorting the pieces out by color. Another involved participants telling Wynde the worst things people have said to them and helping them spell them out with brightly colored sand on double sided tape. You should really check out her website to get acquainted with her work, examples are laid out really simply and digestibly there.
For this show, Wynde made quilts out of tarp -- yes, colored tarp material cut into pieces and stitched together -- that relate to themes of homelessness and inequity. A good chunk of the quilts in this show were actually designed by residents of Hazelnut Grove, a community-supported homeless camp in north portland. Check out their facebook here. The proceeds from the sale of these quilts will go directly to the folks who designed them. One quilt was bought and gifted to the daughter of the person who painted it! Wynde shares a lot about her experiences with the Hazelnut Grove residents, and about her thoughts on her work and the issues it surrounds, on her instagram. Follow her at @ Wyndedyer - it's a great way to get a deeper look into her world.
So where do I fit into this art show? I could have been just the musical entertainment, but learning about Wynde's work moved me to feel more involved. It's not just that her work deals with social justice issues that I care about, it's her commitment to being an artist -- to being real, to being present for oneself, to churning all the input of the world through the mechanism of creating art and putting something back out into the world. She brings people together through art, is totally herself and doesn't give a fuck, and more than anything always seems to be working. I've never met this woman in person, but it seems to me that she's the real deal.
I've found that if you put what you really value first, you end up around people who resonate with those values. So it seems only right that one of the central inspirations for Wynde's show is the inspiration for a song I put out a couple years ago: the Native American story of the two wolves: There are two wolves inside us all, one that feeds off of pain, jealousy, anger and greed, and one that feeds off of love, inspiration, kindness and courage. So which one wins? The one you feed the most.
The song i wrote is a two-parter. The first part breaks down the idea that people living the "street life," wether that means homelessness or selling drugs/packing heat, are often characterized as the Wolves that come out at night -- as vicious animals. But in reality the "wolves" are the parts within all of us that become vicious in self-defense when we're victimized or think we're going to be victimized. Our Wolves come out in our own personal darkest nights. The second part simply re-tells the original story of the two wolves through my words.
I'll be performing this song along with the rest of my 30-40 minute set some time during Wynde's reception between 4 and 6pm on Sunday, March 27th at the Stumptown Cafe on SE 45th and Division. I hope you come out and I hope this post helps you really step into this creative shared space and understand that it's not just the art hanging on the walls and the beats coming through the speakers. There is intention and care and passion underneath connecting everything and bringing these people together. If you look at everything that informs our work, we're sharing these pieces of ourselves in order to feed each other. I guess you call that sharing the scraps.
Wynde's Website: http://www.wyndedyer.com/
Press Release for "Sharing the Scraps:" https://www.stumptowncoffee.com/blog/portland-art-wynde-dyer