The magical Margie McDonald and I have only just begun working on an installation that as yet has no name — but that I think of as CRAZY HAPPY because that’s the way I feel around Margie. She works with copper wire and other sumptuous and often eccentric refuse from the Port Townsend boatyard, creating whimsical, erotic and even hilarious sculptures that this time around are intended to inform an entire forest of my paper scrolls (the ones you see here are 25′ long) with their shadows as well as their forms. In other words, CRAZY HAPPY owes something to choreography and something to an ongoing and animated conversation between her work and mine.
The show opens at Port Townsend’s spacious Northwind Arts Center in July of 2017 and, in March of 2018, travels to San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, to occupy Carmen Gutierrez’s surrealist gallery Casa Diana, its marvelous spaces designed by the artist Pedro Friedeberg. The scrolls glimpsed here were painted during a month’s residency at The Vermont Studio Center this past March. Other images include Margie’s early responses to my scrolls, her piles of great stuff, my own photos of junk and such things that spark the process.
The Inspirations (from Margie McDonald’s studio material)
Margie McDonald Work Inspired by the Scrolls
Margie McDonald Sculptures
The author of nine novels, three collections of short fiction, two books of essays and five books of poetry, Rikki Ducornet has received both a Lannan Literary Fellowship and the Lannan Literary Award For Fiction. She has received the Bard College Arts and Letters award and, in 2008, an Academy Award in Literature. Her work is widely published abroad. Recent exhibitions of her paintings include the solo show Desirous at the Pierre Menard Gallery in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in 2007, and the group shows: O Reverso Do Olhar in Coimbra, Portugal, in 2008, and El Umbral Secreto at the Museo de la Solidaridad Salvador Allende in Santiago, Chile, in 2009. She has illustrated books by Jorge Luis Borges, Robert Coover, Forest Gander, Kate Bernheimer, Joanna Howard and Anne Waldman among others. Her collected papers including prints and drawings are in the permanent collection of the Ohio State University Rare Books and Manuscripts Library. Her work is in the permanent collections of the Museo de la Solidaridad Salvador Allende, Santiago Chile, The McMaster University Museum, Ontario, Canada, and The Biblioteque Nationale, Paris.
Deeply informed by the traditional crafts from her native Newfoundland, Margie McDonald received a BFA in Textile Arts from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. Margie was an art teacher in Newfoundland for 6 years before setting off on adventures including living on rickety old sailboat in the Caribbean, sailing across the Atlantic and commercial fishing and running a grizzly viewing camp in Alaska. While apprenticing to a yacht rigger in Port Townsend beginning in 1998, she learned to splice steel wire and added newly mastered techniques to her textile education to begin creating her inimitable sculpture. She prefers to work with recycled materials often found at scrap yards where interesting metal objects and various wire will inspire her organic sculptures that evolve through construction rather than a preconceived plan. She has been the Artist in Residence for the Port Townsend High School since 2008 and is the Artistic Director for the Port Townsend Wearable Art Show. Margie’s many solo and juried shows include the Britannia Copper Museum in British Columbia, (2012) and the Bainbridge Island Museum of Art (2013). Twice a finalist in the coveted New Zealand Museum of Wearable Art’s yearly international show (2013, 2014), her piece ‘Wired” was retained for museum display and on view throughout the following year. Her work can be found at Simon Mace Gallery in Port Townsend and at the Bainbridge Island Museum of Art.