Sunday, March 30, 2008

Solo "Moments"

My first solo show is up!- at one of our favorite coffee shops- none the less, I am happy to see the work outside of my little space.

(I feel like I am rising up to the skies on your staircase.)

here's an invitation: (would love to see you!)

Tereza Swanda


at Soulfood Books and Café
March 31- April 12, 2008
April 6, 2008

Swanda’s exhibit “Moments” at Soulfood is a body of work reflecting upon the small moments we actually feel alive; the moments of awareness.


From the day my daughter was born I realize in practice how precious life is and how little of it we actually live, with our whole being. Inspired by Washington’s amazing environment, I am continuously struck by colors, even under neutral gray skies. It is precisely this bleakness that radiates colors of foliage and plant life. I layer color onto previously stark black and white under paintings, first listening to see what specific color is called for to present a healing landscape.

15748 Redmond Way
Redmond, WA 98052

Thursday, March 27, 2008

more progress

Stairs beautiful stairs!
More progress shots on site.
We're closer every day to obtaining our C of O.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Progress on the house.
Things that are being installed are looking beautiful. I think we really are about a month away.
Meetings about it today; site visit yesterday. Although thoroughly exhausted, I do remain hopeful.

Beginning of stairs from 4th floor to roof. Wood treads, no riser, metal spine.

View on 4th floor, looking down on private stair to floor 3, and private stair up to roof. Wood treads and risers; railings to be installed this week.

Stairs up to the roof. Wood treads being installed.
Another view of the master bathroom. That we selected. Yikes! Fancy.

Detail of stair risers and treads from third to fourth floors. Private. Custom. Yikes!

I just loved this picture. Stair from fourth floor to roof.

Another beautiful view of the open riser stair from the fourth floor to the roof.

Workers on site.

Our bathroom. Marble. That we chose. I never had the opportunity to select bathroom wall tile before. When I first saw it I thought it was too fancy, but now I'm warming up to it. Marble...

This will be our dining room. Can't you just see us drinking our morning coffee looking out those gorgeous windows?

Fourth floor mess. Progress mess, but mess nonetheless.

Private stair looking down from fourth floor to third floor.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Buona pasqua.
Happy easter.

Guggenheim Friday

Guggenheim show was incredible; didn't want to ruin it by ending the day with the armory.
Thinking a lot about how to move more deeply with an idea, about the implications of being able to write and communicate clearly about one's work. Public art. Grant reception Articulation. Movement. Clarity.

Cai Guo Qiang . Stunning.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Art going

Going to the Whitney Museum later on today and tomorrow to see the Biennale. I've heard mixed reviews. Meeting a friend at the Guggenheim first. Yay.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

lemons into lemonade

Finishing my piece to send to the Mapping Reason show.
The winds of change are literally around us here in New York.
Hearing mixed reviews about the Whitney Biennale; will have to go myself tomorrow to see what the buzz is about.
Background is becoming foreground; boundaries are disappearing.
Heart rate is lower; I can't hear that much gossip anymore.
I need to work more, talk about it less.
Simple solutions.
Finding vocabulary.
Getting EU passport.
Thinking about grants, residencies, unlimited amounts of money and time.
4 week deadline for construction completion.
Pushing the mountain.
Documenting work.
MotoGP racing.
I don't want to come back from Italy this autumn.
Plumbing fixtures.
Writing it down to make it real.
Zen dinner.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Repeating process

Funny how one thing just leads to the next. Had a similar experience today, using images of my hands in various positions (receiving/accepting) stenciled from photos to paper. In vein of my previous drawing Trust Fall made in SA.

The stencils are beautiful in themselves- have to remember for future work.
Sent of my grad applycation and had a good discussion with a woman from addmissions- I'm hopeful.
Am in the midst of organizing my first solo show! in a cafe but none the less. It's a lovely cafe!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

I cast an item to be used as the "backdrop" of another piece, but when it came out of the mold it had its own life and has picked up a thread independent but related to its original intended use. Will post photos when I can. I love it when that happens.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Athena and Medusa.
I often think teaching be received in the way one walks into a room, or the way one holds the door open for someone during "rush hour", the way one speaks to a bank teller, how one sweeps the floor.

Although I have not formally taught for about five years, the thought of teaching by example comes to mind most days. I try to hold that in my mind, and be aware of my actions towards myself and towards others. It's been easier to be more kind and to act with more compassion since getting attuned to reiki 2. I am sending healing back to myself as a child, to collapse the idea of time and space.

Yesterday I was talking to someone who told me, jokingly, that he has become the person he always hated because he's moving into a luxury condo with his wife and kid and their dog next month. I really heard what he said and thought to myself that I never want to say that about myself or even think that about myself. It's interesting how grave sometimes "light" conversation is. Really think about what that phrase can signify.

What he said can also be a lesson, a teaching, a gift. What does it mean to compromise oneself so much to the point of becoming the very thing one hates? Aren't those aspects in one all the time, and to "hate" or to "love" them is all ego-driven anyway? It's sometimes hard to let go.

Also bringing color back into this conversation, I immediately thought of the Crown Chakra, pictured above.

Identified by Yoga as the 'Crown' or "Thousand-Petaled Lotus" Chakra, this Aura-center encompasses the Crown of the Head, upper brain-mass and the ductless glands located within the brain. Associated with "Macroprospectus" in Kaballah.. and 'Cosmic Consciousness' in western Mystical traditions.. this Chakra "houses" that portion of the Self which endures unchanged through time. While the Soul (centered in the Third Eye or Brown Chakra just below the Crown) evolves from Life to Life (or Phase to Phase in our development,) the Akashic "Light Body" can be viewed as one's "ETERNAL POTENTIAL" and "LASTING IDENTITY."

This Chakra connects to THE AKASHIC PLANE of 'indestructable light' of Asian Metaphysics. The Self-Identity which lives in this dimension of Light was called 'the Sekhem' by ancient Egyptians (meaning "the Power" and "the Form",) and may best be translated into English as "the God-Self" of Jungian Analysis. For further information on this, see the Spiritual/Metaphysical Level of this Manual.. as well as the God-Self Phase in the Mental/Emotional Level.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008


"Magenta is a colour that is very close to the world of the etheric, to the world of the soul, so close that one might call it a reflection of the second-dimensional. The world as the dream-consciousness perceived it was flooded with magenta. It was a reality with no hard outlines, formless, dreamed of. One was only aware of variations of light and darkness, perceived, not through the senses but through another part of one's being--partly through the feelings (the heart) and partly through the will (the limbs). One had an awareness of an all-pervading light and therefore one was filled with hope. One felt carried by creation, one felt wrapped in a cloak of mercy, one new oneself to be in the hands of a Being of Mercy. All existence was one great outpouring of mercy in which one was carried, in which one lived in this diffusion of hope and warmth and light." - d'Herbois

Magenta is the color of new growth. Been seeing and feeling it's aura under blooming trees.
After watching zeitgeist the movie, this color needs to make it's way back into our consciousness. We have created so much despair for ourselves, people (especially those with utmost power) need to recognize it. We can't change another mind through argument or stating our mind to oppose them. We can subtly, through our continued presence perhaps influence. I would love to talk more of teaching, in the how.

Been fertilizing the daily paper- it's actually a nice way to garden- no need to tear up the grass. just lay the newspaper down and throw topsoil with fertilized- once the roots make their way to the grass, they reach the greatest source of nutrients.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Reiki 2

I just got attuned to reiki 2 yesterday.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008


When I start to work again, really work again, the instability of what I "have to do" begins to settle down and make sense. I create my own center.

I am beginning to realize the shift in my work and feel grounded in that shift.

I don't know why neither of us said anything to rebut the familial and familiar racism we recently experienced. It's shocking to me that we both stayed silent.

To think more globally, I know Apartheid didn't just "happen" insidiously grew in momentum because people did not speak out against injustice. Not just on a local level, but a world wide level no one said anything. I often think about that when I decline to comment against the subtle remarks I hear at parties, or at family gatherings, or at dinners. I was in high school when Mandela was in jail on Robben Island, worrying more about "being fat" than what was going on outside my own clique.

It's my responsibility to speak up, and in the most recent case I did not. Something very real to learn from. Also, living in North America, the very recent past of our own internal racism. Who needs to go to South Africa, if we can more easily head to Woolworth's?

As I am realizing my potential with my work, I also realize my potential as a workshopper, whatever that word means. My choices to continue with the principles I believe in are only becoming less of an issue, and more evident in what I do and say. Even though I tend to rant and rave here in our conversation, I've made my choice and it's clear to me what structures I want to be surrounded by, and which ones I no longer have use for. But it's conversations like the ones we did not contribute to that also teach me so much.

Creatively, this puts me in conversations with many more people in many other countries, in many other times. This gives me momentum. I feel part of something larger on our tiny little planet.

Are you moving back to New York? That's a big step. Keep making work; it will help guide you. Let's both speak up next time.

Monday, March 3, 2008


We are in a state of flux- although consciously I know things always flow, move, change, I am a bit slow at it these days. I work slower and although this for me feels normal I feel like I am not keeping up with other's pace.

We are transitioning to the East coast, Alenka is off to montessori school, I will have to start some sort of finance, my husband will be transitioning form his job. Change is in the air for us strongly, I am just overwhelmed by the how, what, when? Things are up in the air and I need some grounding or for things to at least start to present themselves.

I'm impatient with just being, or even trying to understand what I currently am. I've been so completely shaken (emotionally, physically) these past few years. I'm not even sure I will come out the same in the end.

I am very drawn to your drawings, they are so refreshing for me- I am completely in love with the drawing of your bending ladies after your statement, I feel that bend so strongly. I also think your work has reached a new level- the drawings in combination with Airing Dirty Laundary and Meaningcleaning- it is all very powerful. (Do you recognize that? See your power?)

On a more current note, in responce to the last few posts

We were back in my home/teenage town last week. I took very few images but found some inspiration in very old work, to be continued.

I'm relating to your dinner conversation and the calling card.

I was briefly visiting my father- in the hour or so we spent together there were a slew of racist, derogatory remarks. I too could only stay silent. I could see the history, remembered past conversations, how my father and his friends would connect, comeroderate over 'jokes'. In later years knowing full well we, his daughters and first generations immigrats could not stand there obscene laughter. I think at this point he has forgotten my annoyed presence and is expressing what he thinks brings him closer to others. How sad. I soon let go of the hatred that usually brewed in me while he threw his casual remarks around, glad Alenka is too young to notice much besides the chocolate offered to her and the playmate she found in him.

I'm glad to hear someone may join this dialogue. I do post at a very slow rate and I think opening it up is needed.

just words

From Martin Luther King, Jr.:
"In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends."

One of Adrian Piper's Calling Cards (image selected because of an email conversation with another artist/future guest author...more to come later)

Dinner conversation

I was at a dinner recently where many things were said that I did not agree with, and actually took offense to; however, rather than confronting the discomfort, I did nothing to engage nor did I offer any alternative to the prevailing opinions shared. I did not say anything.

Not to speak is to speak
Not to act is to act

I found the subtle racism offensive, the potential male bashing hurtful, the classicm comments made with casual ignorance rather shocking. I felt the diners around me were very aggressive at times about so much. It was like growling dogs ready for a fight. All this over a nice mesclun salad!

I also heard things being voiced that I would have said not so long ago. That's what is most shocking, and most humbling. I am them; they are me. There is no separation. There is no difference

At the moment I don't know why I became complacent and did not speak up when I did not agree with what was being said. I take that back, I do know: it reminded me of annual family get togethers when my aunties or uncles or cousins make derogatory remarks about "foreigners" or other ethnicities than Italian-Americans...I often block them out and remain silent.

That's a choice I don't want to make anymore. It's becoming more clear how I want to live, and how I can respond rather than react. How being in a teaching position all the time takes a lifetime to be proficient at (let alone excellent at)...all the gears must be working all the time.

Sunday, March 2, 2008


I have revisited ideas and images I used years ago, and have begun painting in my cyclic, spiral, not at all linear way. This is tentatively called Push/Pull. Thinking about the proverbial rock and a hard place I often find myself in as a woman and as an artist.

Hands Holding 1, working title. Also thinking about manipulation..personal as well as political. Seeing as it's an election year, and looking around at how violent we are towards each other as human beings, it makes sense to me to pick up where I left off so many years ago.