New Series: Fun and Unusual Art Materials and their Therapeutic Uses… 1. The Safety Pin

It’s been too long since my last post, partly because I haven’t known what to write about since the sudden death I mentioned. Everything I’ve thought of has been really serious and I probably wasn’t in the mood to get into that kind of material…

So I just got the idea to do a new series on strange and unusual art materials and their uses, as I have been fascinated with safety pins lately.

I first was reminded of the fun of using safety pins in clothing when I saw the “Punk” show at the Met a while ago. I bought their special safety pin duck tape at the show and then ran to the P & S Fabric Store around the corner from my studio and purchased a bunch of silver/metal and gold/brass colored safety pins and started playing with them. First I just added them to collages, journal covers, altered books and paintings, and recently I have become quite obsessed with putting them in necklaces.

The necklace thing happened very randomly. I suddenly thought of putting some safety pins in my necklace. They are perfect to put beads on and then put on the necklace. In fact, it reminded me how some people put beads on safety pins and immediately have a pin to pin on to their clothing. Once I put a few in a necklace, while working with a patient who was into the safety pins with beads I realized it looks even cooler to put a whole bunch of safety pins on the necklace, especially a bunch of them beaded at the bottom. Now I want to bead up a ton of them and string them on a necklace all by themselves. I’m not sure if it would be too heavy for the elastic I use for beading but I’m excited to try experimenting. I bought some different size safety pins and found black ones too on Friday.

The origin of the safety pin is long and interesting. I found a great link that describes ancient types of safety pins similar to the modern one and then Hunt’s invention of it and the use of it in “punk” fashion. It seems actually that the safety pin became punk by accident. Johhny Rotten claimed to use them to keep clothes together, not as anything more meaningful.

I find the two associations of baby diapers and punk to be a fun juxtaposition for an “art material”. Also the name “safety pin” is interesting, as the safety pin was originated to attach things so your clothing would be “safe” from falling apart, or to I guess pin diapers. However the safety pin is actually dangerous and could be considered a weapon as the pin is very sharp. I would imagine it would be confiscated on Inpatient Hospital Units for mental illness, as it could very well be used for self harm or harm to others.

The other cool thing about the safety pin as an art material is its use as a “connector”. Symbolically using the safety pin could be associated with connecting with others, connecting things, etc. When not using it for jewelry, I glued it directly on surfaces or actually pinned it through a piece of duct tape or fabric…

I will post some photos of art work using safety pins in the next few days…

WIDE AWAKE…

It is strange to see this post from October 4 as I think the date is wrong. Today is October 4, so that cannot have been written today.

Anyway, I just read it and felt like it was written by someone else. I recently had a profound sudden loss of a very close friend, and I have been listening to Katy Perry’s song “Wide Awake” repetitively daily walking to and from my studio to work. I must hear this one song at least 15-20 times a day, it seems to be the one song that helps with this grief, while her wonderful song, “Firework” is great but too hard to hear right now. It’s best to hear her singing it, but I wanted to post the words. I will follow this post with a few images of the art work I’ve been doing mostly in my journal in response to this terrible loss of a truly wonderful being and great friend, whom I will miss every day for the rest of my life…

I will post the words to the lyrics. I am a big Katy Perry fan as I love her sense of humor and fun and imagination, but as well, she has written some songs that are really deeply moving and profound, inspiring and helpful during sad times.

here it is:

“Wide Awake”

I’m wide awake

I’m wide awake
I’m wide awake
Yeah, I was in the dark
I was falling hard
With an open heart
I’m wide awake
How did I read the stars so wrong?
I’m wide awake
And now it’s clear to me
That everything you see
Ain’t always what it seems
I’m wide awake
Yeah, I was dreaming for so long

[Pre-Chorus]
I wish I knew then
What I know now
Wouldn’t dive in
Wouldn’t bow down
Gravity hurts
You made it so sweet
‘Til I woke up on
On the concrete

[Chorus]
Falling from cloud nine
Crashing from the high
I’m letting go tonight
Yeah, I’m falling from cloud nine

I’m wide awake
Not losing any sleep
I picked up every piece
And landed on my feet
I’m wide awake
Need nothing to complete myself, no

I’m wide awake
Yeah, I am born again
Out of the lion’s den
I don’t have to pretend
And it’s too late
The story’s over now, the end

[Pre-Chorus]
I wish I knew then
What I know now
Wouldn’t dive in
Wouldn’t bow down
Gravity hurts
You made it so sweet
‘Til I woke up on
On the concrete

[Chorus]
Falling from cloud nine (it was out of the blue)
I’m crashing from the high
I’m letting go tonight (yeah, I’m letting you go)
I’m falling from cloud nine

I’m wide awake
Thunder rumbling
Castles crumbling
I’m wide awake
I am trying to hold on
I’m wide awake
God knows that I tried
Seeing the bright side
I’m wide awake
I’m not blind anymore…

I’m wide awake
I’m wide awake

[Chorus]
Yeah, I’m falling from cloud nine (it was out of the blue)
I’m crashing from the high
You know I’m letting go tonight (yeah, I’m letting you go)
I’m falling from cloud nine

I’m wide awake
I’m wide awake
I’m wide awake
I’m wide awake
I’m wide awake

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WAKE UP!

Life is short, so the cliche goes. Part of the principles behind mindfulness as an approach to living more fully is that when you are truly focused on being mindful you start to awaken as though from a deep sleep. It is a shock to realize how much one can sleep through in life or be half asleep or sleepwalking through life.  The moment of revelation that you are suddenly “wide awake” is profound. 

A lot of meditation involves awakening the Mind or Wise Mind. If you just sit with yourself and breathe, you will notice your mind at work and how much it does and how hard it is to slow it down. Just because the mind is working does not mean it is being mindful. It is just a too full mind. As you meditate by noticing these thoughts and reactions and sensations you start to observe them and try not to judge them. even then you are already waking up to what is real right now…

More to come soon.